Moving from one abode to another has been something I have done quite a bit of since moving to Colorado in December of 1972. A quick and probably incomplete count would indicate at least 13 moves and different living situations. And as of today I am seriously entertaining the possibility of a move back to San Francisco after the 1st of the year.
Now I suppose this could be viewed as an immature and possibly pathological inability to settle down but I prefer to look at as a chance to cleanse. This was brought home to me in a short comment on Facebook that someone made to a friend’s post about “moving again”. The commenter said he viewed his many moves as cleansing behavior since these changes in locale usually resulted in the jettisoning of fair amount of accumulated stuff.
I suppose if I tried to further rationalize my frequent moves I could put a Buddhist spin on it and think of it as one more lesson in impermanence. Now this lesson of impermanence certainly has come easier to me in my life than say a Syrian refugee whose home has been blown to bits or the Palestinian family who have repeatedly had their homes demolished by the Israeli army. It is even hard for me to imagine the loss experienced by people whose homes in South Carolina that were recently flooded or abodes blown completely away by a Kansas tornado.
When I think about it though my major lesson in impermanence has not been related to any physical moves I have made but rather by the death of my loving companion David in September of 1995. In the last days before his death when he would lay down to try to temper the significant pain he was experiencing and that liquid morphine was only dulling he would ask to be covered in a purple sarong I had purchased at some Grateful Dead concert a few years earlier. It was this simple piece of cloth that somewhat soothed his soul. It wasn’t his nice car, his extensive Haviland China collection, our nice home or the many of his beautiful stain glass creations but rather my foot rubs and then covering him with that shawl.
I still have that shawl now tattered and frayed and it lives on my zafu as stark reminder of my own impermanence. These days as I contemplate a move back to OZ the main driver for this planned relocation is to get back to the strong village aspect to living at the B&B. I have many more friends here but I don’t live with any of them and this is really a bit of a lonely situation. The likelihood of an old wrinkled HIV+ queen finding another partner is slim to non-existent.
I have used my current job at Urgent Care to partially fill this void of being alone and though I like and enjoy the company of my co-workers, the seemingly endless stream of folks with abdominal pain, bleeding vaginas, heroin addiction and homelessness can be taxing.
I do enjoy people being in my business on a daily basis in my actual living situation. If I were to die at home now my cat would eat me before anyone would find me. In San Francisco I would have folks looking for me frequently if for no other reason than that they want their breakfast and it would be highly unlikely that they are seeking me out because their vagina is bleeding or they are jonesing bad for their next smack pop.
So once again I will be moving as a way of dealing with my own inevitable impermanence and hoping my last dance is in the company of folks who love me and I them.
Addendum February 18th, 2016: I will not be moving back to San Francisco but rather staying in Denver and making a concerted effort to incorporate even more fully the many friends I have here into my every day life. Details on this decision will follow in future ramblings.