How do I know it is time? What internal alarm clock wakes me from the sleep of routine to consider another day, another way, another world?
I want to rearrange my room. For the past seven years it has been static, arranged around the huge floor to ceiling bookshelf Dennis built me, seven years ago. This bookcase occupies the only wall in the room long enough and tall enough to handle the bulk.
There is, and has been, this urge to change. One major huge bookcase, three smaller, fold up bookcases, a desk, a chair, a bed, a rocking chair, a footstool (file box), a printer stand (file cabinet) and two magazine racks compete for space in this room. Last fall I eliminated one bookcase (now in the basement) and another file cabinet.
This morning Dennis and I sat at the kitchen table and talked about many things. We discussed selling the house, what it was worth, how we felt about this place we have spent, respectively, over forty and over twenty-five years. Memories, attachments, collections, likes and dislikes. We talked about what we need in a dwelling place, what we could live without, what is important, how we can make it work. Why we feel we need to take on this permanent change. What steps we have to take to make a major, life disrupting change in our routines.
Will we move overseas? Probably. Will we sell the house and everything in it. Yes, if it comes to that. Will we miss our safe, quiet, comfortable place in the country? Possibly, but we are ready to see what else is out there. Will we regret our choice? We won’t know that until we make one. Do we need to take this chance? I think we do.
So that room that needs to be rearranged. I think the alarm has sounded loud and clear. It is time to downsize, clear out, and minimize. I am going to start with the books. All those lovely book spines I look at everyday. All those lovely books of essays, stories, and poems I haven’t opened in years, but remember vaguely in some cases, vividly in others. All those books and authors I have collected with the intention of reading at some point. All those important books I should open, read, and consider but can’t find the block of time I need to do justice to the wisdom within.
When something becomes more burden, more habit, more prop than potential it is time to make room, lighten the load, and open the space. Instinctively I know what books I need to keep, I know when I am reading what I need to read, and I know those books will come to me as I need them. The rest, those read and still unread are just conveniences, possibilities waiting for my eyes to catch the title, my hand to pull one from the shelves and my fingers to open the pages, always with the hope called maybe. Do I really need four bookcases of maybes?
Maybe it is time to stop hoping for the right book, the right place, the right opportunity and just get out there and pursue something fleeting and risky. That alarm ringing in my mind seems to indicate it is time to wake up, make a change in staisis, do something drastically different.
Books and bookcases for sale. It is a start.