Am I A Falcon, A Storm?
Last night I had three teenage girls in my living room to help me “sort my clothes.” To allow a sixteen-year old the right to advise you on what you ought pack in your suitcase is both enlightening and frightening. To have three of them is to invite a war, of sorts. There was much laughter. At one point, I had to ardently defend the rights of my favorite soft green shirt.
Girls: “That’s for the give-away pile, Nelly. It spells, ‘Grandma.'”
Girls: “Oh, Nelly, please. No Grandma shirts.”
Me: “Listen you! I do not look like a Grandma in this shirt! I’ll prove it to you.” [Theatrically grabs a black skirt with the green shirt and huffs away to the dressing room.]
I won. The shirt lives. But a lot of other stuff dies to the give-away pile.
Operation Pack is spelled: simplify, give-away, simplify. The nice thing about two transcontinental moves in five years is that you learn to condense your belongings into a few suitcases. It feels good.
Before I fell asleep I read a nice poem by Rainer Maria Rilke (in translation). I found myself in it. From his Book of a Monastic Life:
I live my life in widening circles
that reach out across the world.
I may not complete this last one
but I give myself to it.
I circle around God, around the primordial tower.
I’ve been circling for thousands of years
and I still don’t know: am I a falcon,
a storm, or a great song?