#SOL17: In Which I See The Obvious

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I miss my desk. I miss my books. I think I miss my books more. For two months, my things have sat in storage, waiting to be summoned to the new house.

Poor house, with its listing foundation pillars and rotted sill plates, its mold-infested basement and muddy crawlspaces, its sewer conjoined illegally to the neighbors’, its cracked ductwork with traces of unmentionable inhabitants. It has needed love. Which we have given. Plus refinished floors, shellac on the walls to seal in nicotine odors, new paint, so much more. The house is ready for us now, and we’ve called to tell the moving company, “Come!” Two days ago, I learned our things were in Chicago, a third of the way home.

There are still some things that need tending. But I’ve learned that if I take a small moment to do something that matters to me, the tedium of baseboard paint touch-ups eases. This seems like something I should have learned a long time ago: do what matters first.

child's alphabet block

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The thing is, what matters to me is often invisible to society, often not valued. Thinking. Writing. Making. Instead, I’m all too aware of that outer world; I’m all too willing to dive in, try to surf that relentless current. Later, I’ve told myself. I’ll do that other stuff later.

So, as my books, my desk make the long haul to this new home, I get to ask myself what I want. Really want. Where will I invest my time? Because we only get so much of it. And if I spend it on what doesn’t really matter, to me, what will I have to show for it?

When you want to invest in what society sees as invisible, it would appear you’d have nothing. But this morning an image flashed into my moving-addled self.

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If units of time are like blocks and I am always building with them, then even the invisible-to-others blocks matter. In fact, even in their silent, glass-edged, almost crystalline clarity, they are holding up the other blocks.

So am I willing to take these blocks in hand first, every day? Lay the cornerstones no one sees? Let the out-there-ness recede to some distant rumble?




pile of ice cubes

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All images via www.pixabay.com

14 responses to “#SOL17: In Which I See The Obvious”

  1. karen says:


    I firmly believe that the invisible-to-others blocks matter. (Otherwise, I am nothing. 🙂

    Thanks for sharing.

    PS The majority of my books are still in storage after almost 10 years. I think bookcases are the next project though. 😉

    • Karen says:

      “Otherwise, I am nothing.”

      Thank you for this simple and simply profound insight.

      And, having unloaded hundreds of books before the move, I’ve been surprised at how freeing that felt. Bookshelves are good too. ?

      • karen says:

        You just reminded me of a funny story from our last move. We had an estimate done for the moving costs, which were unbelievably high. It turned out that the cost is weight-driven, and our books weighed far more than all our other belongings and furnishings combined. As a result, we ended up renting a truck ourselves to move just our books, which made the rest of the move affordable. It was a fun weekend driving our thousands of books cross-country.

        • Karen says:

          I love this story! Moving costs: ugh. But the cost of not having books is so much higher.

        • I remember one fateful move — a relationship gone south quick — and how I tossed many books and many more vinyl records into the trash for a quick move, and later .. much regret (not over the relationship, which was doomed, but over the lost words and sounds that made me light in the moment but heavy with loss later).

  2. We travel light —
    stories on air
    and sunlight —
    but within the closed
    doors of the hold,
    books become us, too,
    heavier than the songs
    we sing in transit.
    I sit, and wonder, and delight
    at the invisible nature
    of my own hidden world,
    blocks upon blocks of
    ideas, words meant to
    find us.

    -Kevin, inspired by your post and Karen’s response.

  3. Connie Knapp says:

    I’ve been asking myself similar questions. If I’m not careful I’ll just fritter time away. Doing the things that really matter is much harder than throwing in a load of laundry!
    I hope you don’t have to wait too long for your books and your desk–and I will think of you as I go through *my* books and try to figure out which to keep and which to leave behind.
    Manna for the journey!

    • Karen says:

      Yes! Frittering is wonderful but, like day lilies, needs careful boundaries. (Said the frittering expert.) I keep hearing here about living with intention. Nice notion.

  4. Tammy says:

    Great post!
    Got me thinking – always a good thing

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