The chair is in daylight while the other stuff is in boxes … I am moving, as we all are bound to do, from one place and state to another.

The marking on the boxes is interesting, for the first time in all my moves I have alphabetically tagged my bookcases and indicated on the boxes the letter corresponding to the one its content is destined to go to.

The numbering on the boxes has no spatial connotation; it is simply an indication of the total number of boxes to be moved. For spatial destination, KIT, LIV, BDR, etc is writ large on each box.

Suddenly there is, accompanying this downsizing move, the notion that I am packing my whole life.

This notion is bound up with the necessity to get rid of furniture, documents, images, etc. keeping only what I am tied to by an invisible, but nonetheless real tie.

Something in the order of an existential magnetic field now ties me to the belongings that will be moved with me this time around.

Not surprisingly, I am moving into the first apartment bloc I moved into after arriving in this city.

All my previous moves having radiated away from that geographical point, was it sheer hazard or some necessity that is bringing me back to it?

As Yves Montand remarked, upon the death of his spouse, that one does not remake one’s life, but only continue making it … I feel the same about this move, given it will be in different conditions of age and social status, providing life in my old-new digs with a different perspective on inhabiting.

I will be within walking distance to people and places I used to drive to from my present digs; while the street pattern has not changed, buildings and occupancies have, as one hospital nearby has trippled in size since I first lived in the neighbourhood, taking over some office buildings and monopolizing street parking.

The residential stock has not changed much given the student and retired persons populations have maintained the economic viability of rental stock and corner grocery, while encroaching condominiums and shopping centers have remained, on the whole, further away from the institutional and employment poles of university and hopitals.

The social make up will certainly have changed for me to discover, and open green spaces have developed foot paths and other amenities for me to explore.

Moving implies movement after all, whether self initiated or by others, it embodies living.

Since some retired friends have moved also into smaller digs not too far from my new ones, and since social networks are shaping up around employment and family poles, these will certainly provide impetus for moving around … rather than away.

More on that later!

Preparing to move

Credit image Maurice Amiel

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