Purging

Since Christmas, I’ve been in the process of letting go; to rid myself of nostalgia, stories, and stuff. It hasn’t been easy, AND it’s directly mirrored the death work following both Matt and David’s passing. I’m confronting the stuff I’ve used to bolster my own narratives and shape my identity.

This transformation work isn’t a gentle spring cleaning but the elbow grease of change and is the direct result of four years of therapy. I’m creating the version of myself I wish to grow in the next chapter of my life. It’s more than pruning, it’s propagation. By getting rid of most of my belongings, I’m discovering who I am.

I’m preparing to move to the west coast. Whether that ends up being California or Vancouver Island remains to be seen. (The US backlog of approved green cards for artists seems endless.) More importantly, I’m slowly breaking up with my rent-controlled apartment in midtown Toronto. The home and creative space I once warned –– they’ll have to carry me out in a body bag before I leave this two-bedroom deal.

I’m starting to work on an essay about this process, about giving up comfort and the long worn grooves of safety. In truth, Toronto has been incredibly kind to me, and I build a creative practice, a community, and a good life here. But, I’m haunted by my collection of city stories and this is heightened by the increasing change brought by developers. I find myself walking around the streets saying — this used to be this, or I remember when this was that. I don’t want to be someone who recalls something before I perceive what it is.

I’m turning towards a landscape that has inspired me, and I can no longer deny I need trees, tides, cycling trails, and bio-diversity in my day-to-day life.

I’m throwing out this quote by John O’Donohue from a reposting of ON Being.

“Well, I think it makes a huge difference, when you wake in the morning and come out of your house, whether you believe you’re walking into dead geographical location, which is used to get to a destination, or whether you’re emerging out into a landscape that is just as much if not more alive as you, but in a totally different form, and if you go towards it with an open heart and a real, watchful reverence, that you will be absolutely amazed at what it will reveal to you.”

John O’Donohue in conversation with Krista Tippett

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