In flimsy limbo...
This month the Monthly Inspirer is in limbo. I've been moving house and country and I think that's a valid excuse, don't you?
It's been a moving experience in so many ways. Not only have the last four weeks been made out of cardboard, but many things have also been impermanent, flimsy and weaker when damp.
I took a month away from my desk in order to handle the sorting, culling, selling and giving away. Life as we knew it disappeared into hundreds of boxes and were sent out of the windows of our three storey apartment over a shop and packed into a container via a special escalator. The metaphor of things 'going out the window' seems appropriate. We had to say goodbye to beloved places, friends and rituals and doing so rendered me flimsy, worn and damp from tears.
Five days ago, Ian and I took the overnight ferry from the Hoek of Holland to Harwich in a terrible storm that had us sleepless, rocking and rolling (not in a good way) until dawn. We'd booked the best cabin on the boat for the first time, complete with massive porthole that would be lashed with spray every couple of minutes. The facemask and the keys on the bed will remind us in years to come that we relocated during a pandemic. It is perhaps no surprise that we were still reeling and swaying 24 hours after reaching England and the bliss of stopping for two weeks' quarantine.
It's been a moving time, a testing time, a time when my personal 'connecting bit' has encouraged me to connect with those who matter most and say a 'good goodbye'. A time when my personal 'inspiring bits' have hit me full in the heart with wonder and appreciation at the love we found in the Netherlands and hard in the gut as I recognised the beauty, community and belonging that I left behind. My 'learning bit' has been, as ever, that 'partir c'est mourir un peu', as written by Edmond Haraucourt in his poem, Le Rondel de L'adieu – to leave is to die a little. But, as we know, 'it is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all', as Alfred Lord Tennyson wrote so accurately. It's bittersweet, this moving lark. We feel deeply moved emotionally as we move physically.
Meanwhile, as I write this all our possessions are in a container somewhere. We are in limbo, still feeling fragile like cardboard, but we can look ahead, past the spray, beyond the roiling seas of discombobulation, towards calm, and peace and wide horizons.
Forgive me. This month's Inspirer is, like me, in limbo.
See you next month on dry land.
Jo Parfitt's Monthly Inspirer