This week I began to feel for the first time as if I'm really making progress. It's now 13 days until I move out of this flat and into the next one - a step sideways it may seem, but it's really a step down, by which I mean a step up. It won't be as "nice" as where I live now, but it will cost less. And less cost = more time, which is the whole point. That's what I'm telling myself; I may be wrong of course. It feels at least like I'm beginning to gain some clarity.
Packing does this to you. I started packing seven months ago when I gave up my full time job and started selling things off to pay my way. It felt good at first, there was even a tinge of actual joy, but became a chore sooner than I'd hoped. Those trips to the post office, contacting those ebay buyers, hauling bags of clothes and knick-knacks over to Oxfam - it all becomes very tiresome - and time consuming. It's a sacrifice worth making though. As you cut through the clutter, you start to see the space around you for what it is. It's just walls and windows, ceilings and floors. However ornate a barrier you put between yourselves and the elements - however you decorate it, adorn it, clean and tidy it, it's not where you're supposed to be. You're not supposed to be anywhere. You're supposed to moving, living. Somehow.
It occurred to me it might be therapeutic to start putting things in boxes, days before they're due. It's comforting to see your stuff contained like that, to see it all in one place, almost as if out of harm's way. This afternoon I started to sort a 90-litre plastic box that I've been using as an indoor compost heap, into easier to carry containers. (90 litres of compost weighs a hell of a lot). Along with the residue of unsuccessful plants and vegetable-growing attempts (more on my potatoes shortly) I've been making a point of throwing my cooking scraps in there, to decompose at their leisure. I noted with some pleasure as I was digging this all out how everything I've thrown in there the past couple of years, with the help of a worm or two, has returned entirely dirt.
Portable plastic boxes of dirt, stacked up next to the washing machine, in my home, three storeys off the ground. A visual metaphor, no doubt, but I'm not sure what for.