Several loyal orthosphereans have written me privily in recent days, to inquire politely after my health and well-being. This, due to my recent absence from this and every other online forum.
I write now therefore to assure any others who have been likewise worried that everything is fine with me personally, except in one enormously important respect: my wife and I have been for the last few months entirely, and indeed more than entirely, engaged in moving houses (and buying, and selling, too). Moving is irksome and distracting even for a college kid with nothing more than a backpack of clothes and a shelf or two of books. We however have been engaged in a move more massive by several orders of magnitude: downsizing after a career of raising kids in a large house with (we now realize) really ridiculously grand amounts of storage.
Getting rid of so many artifacts and relicts of a rich and adventuresome family life – so many of which, despite all outward junky appearances, turn out to have been shockingly precious in one way or another – and finding room in the new place for what remains (or, more often, failing thereat) has been difficult, stressful, indeed often an occasion of not inconsiderable grief.
It is a hard passage. It is hard to turn to jetsam what one had worked to make ever ready on deck, and then see it turn to hapless forlorn flotsam. It is hard to face the end of the childhood of one’s children – and thus of the most important, lovely, and meaningful portion of one’s own life and work – in the most concrete, tangible terms. It cannot but seem a sort of death – and, to us, a death of rather a murderous sort. I.e., outrageous, and unwelcome; a violation. That the murder is suicidal makes it no less painful. We have just intentionally destroyed the highly evolved order of a household, and so of a family, that was the careful, loving work of decades, and of a million thoughtful decisions. Howsoever needful, and indeed inevitable, it’s an ugly act.
The new place is OK, but it will never feel quite as much like home as the old. Indeed, we rather resent it, and that not a little; as if it were an unwelcome interloper. Fortunately, our kids, grandchildren, and pets all seem to like it very much. So, maybe we are being too curmudgeonly; and maybe we can take some comfort from that reflection.
But, we are not yet quite ready to take it. The wound is still too fresh, and raw. So, we are still in full resentment mode.
Anyway: it’s really that simple. I’ve had no bandwidth at all for public writing. I’ve barely kept up with the private sort, that I use to think more clearly. And what’s worst of all: I know where only one of my books is, and that’s the one I had in my satchel when this all suddenly started, so that it is now long finished. I can’t buy any new ones, either, because I won’t have room even for the old ones, when the time finally comes to begin unpacking them.
This, even after a most horrible bloodletting inflicted upon my library before we moved. A massacre; a holocaust.
All that said, we begin to see now the light at the end of the exhausting chaotic tunnel. I have five or six post topics lined up, and some worthy guest submissions I begin to feel ready to begin to edit. So, I’ll be back soon in the fray, and in as I hope full fell fettle.
Thanks, all, for your patience – both with my absence, and with this, my grumble.