Discombobulating Ambiguity

 How will we pack that poster?

How will we pack that poster?

I’m just not convinced that there’s any amount of preparation that can lead to a smooth moving experience. There’s always that moment near the end when one more cupboard is found, filled with unusual objects having no clear place in a box and no easy way to package for shipment. And as the van pulls away, I am perplexed by a series of specific item questions.

“Did you see the lamp get packed up? How about the vacuum? And did they put the files on the van?”

Then I let it all go. The deed is done, and the vans are rolling in some version of zigzag pattern, collecting and distributing loads along the way. I know there will be an unpacking event on the other end to include the revealed surprise of mismatched items in unlikely boxes. And I know we will re-achieve our grounded status once again with paintings and posters affixed to walls, and drawers organized by function.

Now we’re in the discombobulating middle with either important or last minute items tucked into the back of the car as we check off the to-do list of sites we wanted to see while in California –nothing like a deadline to focus one’s plans.

The idea is to drive north on the Pacific Coast Highway and turn right when we hear from the movers that they are four days away. That will give us time to hightail it cross country to the thawing North Coast of the U.S. to assist in pointing out locations for the stuff that needs to be resettled.

And just as all of this seemed like a batch of overwhelming mayhem for any one life, we see the image on the front page of today’s Wall Street Journal. It shows Somalian families huddled around their remaining possessions after even their temporary shelters were destroyed by soldiers.

That puts it all in context. I can’t help feeling extremely fortunate that we have access to friendly movers, a packed up vacuum, and a place to call home far from marauding Somali soldiers. With that feeling of gratitude, the discombobulation and ambiguity float away leaving the simple desire to help the truly scattered lives of the women in the photo.