Place and Synchronicity


I’m reading Michael Pollan’s A Place of My Own. It’s timely. Kismet. Synchronicity. Pollan’s discussion of place rings true. We feel places. We have a sense of it. The center, my office, has moved from one location to another. Same square footage. Same furniture, staff, and books.

But it feels better.

Sure, there are still bugs to be worked out. But we all feel at home there. We’re planning an open house. You should come see us.

Jamie and Ryan have moved into their new apartment. They took with them their possessions, parrots, and dog. They are settling into their new sense of place.

Here, at my house, I am readjusting my space. Well, at the moment just the living room. It’s taken most of the weekend. Moving furniture, knick-knacks. Pictures. Do I like this here? Or there? Do I really need that huge oak cabinet? What would I have to replace it with? Should I move it from the living room to the library? I kinda like that thought. It’s a beast and the boys won’t be happy about moving it. But then I would need to buy an entertainment center – probably black to match the secretary desk. And some sort of shelf for DVDs.

I love my little black desk. I don’t write there, it’s small and my laptop would make it front heavy — and it would fall forward. But, as a piece of my space it speaks to who I am. I’ve opened it up and placed pictures of grandchildren, books, and candles on it. My favorite Irish tea set is sitting there. And a candle that will never be burned, it was given to me by Ian’s fourth grade teacher, Ms. Price. It is Irish green with a Celtic knot on it. The other candle is battery operated and was given to me by a student. Combined with the glow of the digital frame, that corner of the room is airy, despite being the darkest corner. I’ve place in front of the desk a director’s chair. A throw hangs over it. On the seat I’ve placed a wooden covered journal, and a hawk’s feather (imitating a quill pen).

The room needs more light, a paint job, and a new door, but I like it.

Jamie and Ryan didn’t really take that much—but the space feels bigger, lighter, more mine. Of course, there are distinct disadvantages to their absence. I have two Netflix movies sitting atop the DVD player. After a marathon cleaning, rearranging, I thought I’d settle in and watch one. DVDs are something Ryan and I do together.

I stared at the machines. TV. DVD. I turned it on. Hit play. Nothing. I called Ian out of his room. He stared blankly, “I dunno.” Hitting play was Ryan’s job.

So, I read facebook. The oldest of the Decorah eaglets has fledged, moved into indefinable space, beyond the grasp and safety net of his (or her) parents. Synchronicity. I settled in with Michael Pollan. It seemed odd to not have Jamie reading beside me.

This morning, at almost 7:30, the Grays are still quiet. Daxter, Jamie’s lorikeet, is not here to demand breakfast, to wake everyone on her clock. Ryan’s not here to tell me about his strange dreams, or friends (equally as strange). I don’t have to remind him to pick up his socks. Or tell him to turn down the Play Station, or music. Remind him bedtime was 30, 40, 50 minutes ago.

I have finished, and sent out, two essays; a third will go tomorrow. My goal is three a month. Hopefully, with my expanded space I can make that a reality.

And it’s onward into Monday.

Word Count: 612

Post Script: word in blue, location. Really? Really?!?

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