Tapering Down the Weight of my Existence

Everything is fine.
My life ambles on
While children proceed
To race breakneck ahead
Sleeping in, basement video
And guitar projects,
Outdoor programs far away,
What next.

In silence I wonder
Where the time has gone.
Listening to the void,
I pull my insides,
Ear half cocked for
Small footsteps to
Run into the room to
Ask me what we’re doing today,
Where we are going
Who we are playing with
And what we will eat.

In the din of absence,
I’ve begun decluttering
In a more full and systematic way
Than ever before–
Working on some area of things
To toss or put away–
Everyday.

Bags and boxes of items
I no longer need, use or want
Begin to fill up my room.
My plan is to get lighter,
Be more minimalist,
Relatively–a challenging
And new undertaking for me
And this household.

My adult life–
Colored by money insecurity
Combined with the elation
Of shopping and buying
As well as a hatred
For putting away
Made more intense
By someone else who deems
Keeping paper and all books
Ever acquired
A matter of eccentric survival
A steel rod principle
Of accumulation as
Being “well prepared, smart”
For 25 years
Makes this project daunting
In Its enormity.

But I will do
What I can do
To begin to be able to
Move among the clouds
To taper down slim
To be a willow reed
Swaying in the wind.

Being surrounded and
Weighted down by piles of
Dusty clothes, rotting books
And broken furniture
Doesn’t make you happy,
People do.

Of course, these items
Tend to be intricately marbled
With intertwining memories,
Time spent doing something
With the children,
Aspirations of the places,
Careers and people
We hoped to become
So making the decisions
To determine what to keep
And what can be lived without
Is a real, painful process.

I’ve heard the results
“Are so worth it” and so
Look forward to experiencing
A new, more peaceful “high”.

After two weeks and still going,
I might feel the slightest twinge
Of satisfaction of
Waking up to a cleared off table
And no dishes in the sink…

But mostly I’m still here,
Waiting.

Taper

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