Completely Unaffected by the Journey

I have a small Ren and Stimpy (remember them?) sticker that shows them both with their eyeballs bugging out and heads expanded to bursting, with the caption:  Here we are in the marvelous new world, completely unaffected by the journey.  Kind of how one feels at the moment, Gentle Reader.

It is Day One, we’re in Redding looking at beautiful snow covered mountains, waiting for Mt. Shasta to reveal itself through the clouds.  In a motel with limited hot water but internet.  Early insane asylum decor.  No pets allowed so we’re shushing the birds and skipping maid service.  Kitchenette (” “) but no utensils.  Ours are all packed and in storage, of course.   Lost in Space, redux.   Forget about those Yahoo ratings, people.  You take your chances.

This morning’s fun was finding out that the plans for the platform for the yurt we are about to build and live in are not usable here because the materials specified are, basically, only used on the East Coast.  So The Partner had to hunker down and redo the platform plan.  Not Happy, but he’s doing it. So far it’s gone from 46 pieces plus flooring stuff to 100 pieces…. The fantasy I had that we’d get the platform built BEFORE the yurt was delivered is turning into wispy smoke.  Still, it’ll be FINE.  JUST FINE.  The cel phone works, there’s a Trader Joe’s here, and we’re doing a lot of deep breathing.  Next up will be securing a mail box of some kind.  After all, one must keep getting all the bills.

This entire experience has been, we both agree, just about the worst ever.  Both of us have a lot of competition for that kind of designation, too.  But this has been a no holds barred, no expenses or options spared, trip to Hell.  And all so someone could keep $250k without paying tax on it.  Anyway, the numerous trips to our packed storage unit are complete, and of course I am wondering how we’ll get through unpacking it all but that comes later.  The storage place is kind of cool, as such places go- there’s a long wall that’s covered with murals by local Oakland taggers and spray painters.  It is really fantastic and I hope I remember to take pictures.  Philosophy and truth drawn by young men, much of it about their dead friends and what it’s like to live in the ‘hood.  The myriad details of moving and packing, and the trips to consignment stores to sell things we couldn’t fit in storage and were too good to sell at the multiple garage sales, are finished for the present.  We even scored a GREAT kilim rug, which is good because we are going to have a LOT of floor to cover. The plants are resting at a wonderful nursery and looked calm and healthy last week when I went to say goodbye for now. Later I’ll go back and teach some classes to pay for their keep.   The sight of people scavenging through our moveout  final dumpster and carting off things was astonishing, too.  A huge swirl of descending cyclists, pedestrians and cars, all carting things off with great delight.  It is quite a strange feeling to be completely without the things one normally has:  A home where you know where things are and can work and eat.  Earrings, for example.  Books.  Clothes.  Everything, really.  And, in a strange place.  The good thing about that is exploring of course and once we get through the next few weeks it should be really quite splendid.  There are bike trails and fish ladders and all sorts of things around here.

Which leads me to the next thing, which is how unsettling and painful all this is.  I’ve found out lately that many of my friends are experiencing similar kinds of blowups and blowouts, parents dying, divorces, foreclosures, many of us are “in storage” and definitely in flux.  When you’re not experiencing change it is easy to say how great it is.  When you are? A bit different.  The next person who quotes that thing to me about life must be a daring adventure or it’s nothing at all? Is going to get smacked squarely in the kisser.   These are tumultuous times and change is the order of the day for everyone, in truth.  I guess we at the remnants of Rancho Boozilla pull ourselves together thinking we’re at least in tune with it all.   Because we are, The Partner and the Girls and I, definitely whooshing down river at a startling pace.  We’ve had some truly awful fights but even those are actually instructive, being as how they are so often the product of both of us being exhausted and scared and overwhelmed.  Big lessons in taking a deep breath, stepping back and giving up the clinging and holding on to the old ideas and ways.  Big lessons in looking at what actually IS, and staying in the NOW instead of whining about the past or carping about the unknown future.  Big lessons in trust.  Sounds like fun, doesn’t it?  But.  Eventually we will be living out in the country where we can see the sky through our dome topped dwelling, surrounded by trees and wild flowers.  The rest of it will reveal itself in due course.

Anyway, I decided to write about this because it has been such an incredible challenge.  For example.  I have a great credit score but no one in the Bay Area would rent to me because I’m self employed.  We looked at places to rent in Mendocino owned by Evangelicals who deemed us too corrupt to consider.  We went up hill, down dale, covered miles and miles of northern California, all while packing and sorting and trying to work and wondering what the hell was going to happen if we didn’t find a place to live.  Other areas, designated for apparent gentrification required staggering amounts of money for a shack and I am not even kidding.  No room at the inn, in short.  People even told us that they were working on the rental unit in question so their problem relative could move in six months down the road.  And that would leave us, um, homeless again. So, no.  I cried so much places swelled up around my nose I didn’t even know existed.

BUT.  We did, in the end, succeed in our mission.  We found a place and made a big change in our lives.  More of it to come, of course, plus the big summer fair we do which will require intense product preparation…will the kitchen be ready?   *sigh*  At this point I’m just hoping it’s sunny and above 56 degrees for the next several days so we can work outside without turning into frozen relics.  In the meantime,  I found today that the books I managed to bring are DUINO ELEGIES, Rilke, and GATE OF THE SUN, by Elias Khoury.  Apropos.


2 responses to this post.

  1. “I have a great credit score but no one in the Bay Area would rent to me because I’m self employed”

    Well, some minor comfort here in grumpy land to see that at least things are the same on the West coast as well. But it’s good to see that at least things are looking good. As they say, you should only look up if you’re in a bit of a dip.

    I’m still sans permanent dwelling at present.

    This is one reason I took a 9 to 5. I could have been working in the mornings and finishing school by night, but now I have to work all day because apparently a W-2 has more weight than a 1099 when it comes to finding a roof to live under.

    Honestly, telling someone you’re an “Independent Contractor” is like announcing to the world you have leprosy or something.

    Landlord: You want to rent? Not in my building! You need a job.

    Me: But I have a job!

    Landlord: You working for you isn’t a job.

    Well, not in so many words, but that’s essentially what they’re saying.


    • Indeed. Really, I was thinking telling people about 1099s was more like telling them you had AIDS that was airborne right after coughing heartily. The fun continues anyway. Let’s just say we will be glad when this is…er…concluded. The fun of getting things delivered to the middle of nowhere is on a par with finding said place to begin with. Onward.


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