Rendered Fat Content


William Halsall: Mayflower in Plymouth Harbor (1882)
"Each sanity first extracts an Unmooring."

There are no discrete events. HeadingHomeward upsets ten thousand tenuous balances regardless of the plan's coherency. During more normal times, most everything naturally maintains its place relative to almost everything else. Things, once finding place, naturally resist displacement, even intended improvement. Tearing apart that first piece unleashes a particularly unpredictable form of chaos, the kind destined to make fools out of especially the most diligent planners. Unmooring begins and seems unlikely to end, even into the suddenly unforeseeable future. We will be many months disassembled and probably many years reassembling Humpty Dumpty again, if ever.

All change begins in utter innocence, the most benign kind of ignorance, fueled by reassurances of experience, for we insist that we've done something very much like this several times before. We haven't.
We set ourselves up by analogy with other places and other times inevitably unlike this place and time. Dots do not connect and cannot be forced into connecting. We decided to repaint the old place before moving out, but learned that we'd essentially have to move out to affect the repainting. The Muse's sewing lair would need complete disassembly, producing a volume of stuff roughly equivalent to five times the size of the vacated room, as if those swatches and shelves had been dehydrated there and needed reconstitution before moving. We'll rent temporary storage space and I'll start humping boxes and 'stuff,' which will need returning to later be loaded onto the long-distance truck, yielding three moves for many of our possessions. This necessity will render me a mover for the duration, an Unmooring situation, utterly unintended and humbly accepted as the price of HeadingHomeward, additional taxes and fees suddenly relevant.

We left home port yesterday though we'll be hovering in the harbor for another seven weeks. Our routine's officially disrupted now and we'll be adapting, essentially camping out in the shell of our disappearing home until we depart. I'll empty the bookshelves so we can move them to paint behind them, and it makes no sense that I load them up again just so the movers can rebox them. I'll be schlepping at least fifty book boxes myself, so much for the plan to have movers move them to save my back. TheSecondCar, which we'd thought to sell, will become a shuttle between here and storage well into our future. Our cozy villa will be in steady disassembly until we list the house. I'm hopeful to find a place to write, sleep, and make the occasional supper since we still dare not eat out. I imagine us reduced to renting a hotel room for the final week.

I went to start TheSecondCar and found its electrical system cold. I had not driven it in a month or more. It would not jump off TheSchooner, so AAA sent a truck whose driver managed to spark it, though he had to resort to running a line from his big diesel engine's battery. The Muse and I decided to go for a drive to recharge that system, since we both needed respite from the infernal packing. We went looking for lambs, our traditional Super Bowl Sunday activity, though we didn't find any. The purpose of looking must be to look, not necessarily to find, for we've experienced many times when even our most dedicated lamb-looking yielded no lambs to see. The toodle served to adequately remind us why we were HeadingHomeward, the folly of seeking Springtime, even the scarcest hint of it, in this barren city, sealed our certainty that we never had any business living here, except, of course, for The Muse's business. We chased rumors of springtime, suggestions of possible lambs, driving seventy miles just so we could arrive back home, though the place we re-entered had already been inexorably altered, with boxes and packing supplies terminally disrupting the chi. We ain't got no home in this world anymore. We're Unmooring.

Our lives will remain out of reach for the duration of this exchange. We'll be slinking around tradesmen painting and refurbishing, and even around ourselves for the balance of our tenuous tenancy. By the time we leave, we will not be departing The Villa, but a place we will have lovingly remade for the next inhabitants who will call it home. We volunteered to become homeless with the intent of improving our lot, but an awful lot of dead space sits between there and our destination. Let's consider this an adventure, in no way an inconvenience, recursive plot twists certain to resolve themselves over time. We actually signed up for every upcoming inconvenience, but we're tough. We willingly agreed to disrupt our lives. Every future manifests under duress. We must deserve every once of this. We prayed for deliverance without fully appreciating that we'd be impressed into extraordinary service to affect our own salvation. Each sanity first extracts an Unmooring.

©2021 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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