Vermont Day

Forward momentum.
Why is it so hard to keep moving? I feel like I am stuck sometimes. We become afraid of making choices or taking risks out of fear: fear of failure, fear of the unknown, fear of looking dumb, fear of feeling dumb, fear of getting hurt, fear of hurting others. We carry around literal and metaphorical boxes of our pasts around with us without taking the steps we need to take to move forward.  We get caught up in routines, monotony--I personally get stuck on stressing about shows, rehearsals and dramas, and I constantly have to remind myself to just take a step back and chill the fuck out. Why is that so hard?

When we cleaned out Memaw Bane's house, I brought home photos and momentos with me. They are in boxes in my apartment. When we cleaned out Mom's house, I brought home a carload of photos and stuffed animals and art and things I couldn't bear to part with when we were there--when we were really parting with everything in a short period of time. I just couldn't make the clean break. Those literal boxes are crowding my living and dining rooms.

But now, Christopher and Katie are taking the biggest step in their lives in moving across the world for several years. Yet another house is going to be cleaned out, and I have every intention of taking some of their things as well. But I am also feeling so inspired by them. They are taking a major risk, and following their hearts and souls to go to an unknown place to do unknown things and they aren't letting anything or anyone stand in their way.  Their move to me is marking a new phase in not just their but also my life--yet another transition. I've been holding on to the past and refusing to move forward--staying in the routine, continuing the normal, keeping the paper clippings, mourning the loss of the parents that I once had, jealous of people who can go home to their families and have that comfort--to have a meal made for them, stories shared and a safe haven to go to.  I feel like I do still have that with my brother when we are together, but now, come January, I will probably only see him once in the current time they are planning to be gone. So I have to let go of even more.  If Christopher and Katie can say goodbye to their families, friends, cats, and most of their possessions, surely I can start to move forward, too. To me, it's like all bets are off. This is a major game changer in every way.  I've been putting off looking at photographs for fear that one day there will be no new photos of Dad; I've been feeling the need to scan every last photo and school program and newspaper clipping, but for what? Once C&K are in Africa, they won't be looking at old scans of things. No one is expecting me to do this--the pressure is all on myself. So it hit me last week that I can start to let things go again. Let the artwork that has no special meaning go. Move forward and leave the past behind--such is the nature of life. Everything is temporary.  

So I am allowing myself to be inspired by Christopher and Katie, and I am going to pack the photos up without looking at every single one, and I am going to store them. They need to live somewhere, and I can pull them out and look at hem whenever I want without having them take up precious real estate in my living areas.  I am going to streamline the things that are cluttering my apartment and stressing me out. I am going to widen the focus, too, and sort through my clothes and let go of things that I used to wear 10 years ago, to embrace the fact that I am a grown independent woman in my 30s and I don't need to hold onto the tons of clothes that I have or that were given to me or that I used to wear all the time or that don't fit any more. Too much clutter. I know that having too many things in the house stacked everywhere stresses me out, so what is stopping me from doing something about it? I am in control of my surroundings, life, happiness.

Today is Dad's birthday. I miss him so much all the time.  He and Mom always wanted to go to Vermont to watch the leaves turn colors--they never made it there. Christopher suggests that we call March 23rd "Vermont Day" to remind us to live life to the fullest and grab opportunities when they appear. I think that is so beautiful and so fitting.

Fuzzy found a disposable camera when we were cleaning out Mom's house last year. We just got it developed. These gems were in there:

Christopher and Dad Christopher and Dad

If I lived in the South today, I would sit outdoors listening to Allman Brothers or some good Southern Rock and Blues, eat some BBQ and drink a beer. It's days like to today that I miss the summer days in the house we grew up in with the screened windows and door when Dad would turn the speakers up so loud that you could hear the music outside and we would sit on the front porch (oh, how I miss having a front porch) and pet the cats and drink iced tea. It's days like today that I miss the back deck on the other house, where you could eat crawfish and potato salad and drink beer.

It's days like today that I remember the past with fondness, and thank it for making me who I am. It's days like today that I look to the future with a vision of what is important to me and what I love and continue to create the life that I want. It's days like today that I keep moving forward.

David Speech
(above pic of Dad from our wedding, by James Trevenen)


Thinking about you sweet long lost friend.

Good luck with the cleaning. I know it is hard. Just wanted to let you know also that I love you mucho, and I am going to drink a glass of sweet tea in your honor right now.

Beautiful. And what great pictures - I am crying, I miss him so much. Thank you for such a beautiful piece.

What gets me is, he doesn't even LOOK like he's got anything wrong with him!!! Bless his heart.

Thanks everyone so much for the love. I learned a lot from my day on Wednesday. In fact, Sunday afternoon I was cooking, listening to the Allman brothers, drinking wine and expecting company and I felt overwhelmingly happy and thought, "Yes, THIS is the life I want to have. I have it."

Much love to you all.

That is really wonderful!