verge (vʉrj)
the edge, brink, or margin (of something): also used figuratively the verge of the forest, on the verge of hysteria

to tend or incline (to or toward)
to be in the process of change or transition into something else; pass gradually (into) dawn verging into daylight

Saturday, January 30, 2010

iWalk, iGo

I've been a little stuck lately.  Really, push has come to shove. I don't usually do this, but every so often I walk with my ipod in my pocket and the buds in my ears.  The dogs usually know when I do this--I usually get a look that says "Oh.  That."  For the first several walks, I justify my silence by telling them that we are walking to the music for health and fitness.  We don't need to talk all the time, I point out. And anyhow, you've been slacking off lately, I might add.  Time to pick it up a notch. Earn your keep. Blow the stink off.  So we go all jammin'-like and takin' it to the streets with Harvest Moon and the Zeros and the Muffins....

In the process, I go elsewhere.  I look where I don't want to look. I go where I don't want to go. I take us on a walk through my own head and discover the secrets I've kept from myself.  The music provides just enough cover to make it safe.  La, la, la, la....The ear buds keep me from trying to escape into the street.  They also keep things out.

And as we walk, I surf my situation atop the surge of sweet sound and I see what I see. Or maybe it sees me. I'm at that sharp and jagged place on the Rim of the Verge that can't be ignored or jammed into a folder somewhere out of sight.  The time has come, yes, here it is.  Later is now, it's now.  The music softens the sharpness of now so that I can just tolerate it.

It's time to take the Many Things apart.  A grand that held the hands of my grandparents.  An upright that played Waltzing Matilda for Echo Lane.  Autumn Leaves. Books that formed friendships with each other on our shelves, and in our laps.  Skeins and skeins of colors of someday sweaters. A trampoline.  Sleds.  Ugly plastic chairs.  Puzzles. The pieces that used to fit.  Baby teeth. The cobwebs.  Chipped window sills.  Finger prints on the doors.  They used to belong there.  That spot where I spilled my coffee.  Where Stickers slept. The room that heard our stories.  Little Mermaids that became prom gowns.  Popsicle stick picture frames.  That sock under the couch. The table that supported our elbows and birthday candles. And our heavy hearts.  The deck that held our laughter and hopes.  The clothesline that doubled as a dragon fly landing strip when everything else was blowing away.  My lilies and my daffodils. You're on your way, but so am I...

I have stayed away from this moment for as long as I possibly could.  For maybe my whole life. I have paused on the tippy edge of the verge of this very Verge for as long as possible.  Boxes are jutting their way in, offering to seal our memories for another day and place.  Many of the Many Things will never see the inside of a box.  They'll just go.  A few things--they'll come along with me and be my tether. But how to neatly step over this line and go....I don't know.

But it's on right now.  Waterboys.  Thank you, fellas.  iCan write this while you sing.

I'll be walking Artemis and Biscuit at the end of this day.  The ipod will stay home.

iAm ready.


  1. Those of the Baha'i faith turn over their entire lives every 19 years. They choose to close the door to their past because it can keep them from living in the present. Everything they own is sold or given away, and they start over fresh.

    Back when I was a senior in high school, I got a new toothbrush, then promptly broke the handle. Dad got out the epoxy, and glued it back together. Less than a month later, he died. I kept that toothbrush with me for years and years. One day I looked at it, and realized it was just an old toothbrush.

    My memories do not live in things or places. They are with me and I am with them, no matter where or when.

  2. I emptied out my childhood home a year ago, I put tag sale signs in the neighborhood...I sold things at great made me cry at the end of the regrets, I kept the things that to this day still tether me to that sense of load is lighter..i could just float away.

  3. Almost five years ago, the best job I ever had began its downward slide to the worst job I ever had. Then not quite a year ago, I was free. I spent some time doing my best to let go of the worst job I ever had, but also to kiss the best job I ever had good night, smooth its covers, and put it away. Doing both of these things allowed me to think up a different job altogether, one that I hoped would be the new best job I ever had. But before that job even started, it, too, was gone. So here I am again, on the "sharp and jagged place on the Rim of the Verge." Later is, indeed, now. Thanks, Alice. And thanks, uphillrider. Sometimes a toothbrush is just a toothbrush.