As my new departure date draws near, November 4th instead of December 12th, the full implication of what I am doing is bearing down on me, or is it bearing me up, or just carrying me along. Chapters of my life are ending and new ones beginning at the same time. Just like normal life really, but highlighted at this moment, for me anyway, because so much is ending and beginning, and not so much continuing. Except for the long threads of friendship, family and memory that wind through me and are my foundation. Yes, I am thinking of things in such terms at this moment, even if it does sound grandiose.
So, I am in the middle of taking down the walls of my life, ending my 35 year long massage therapist career, teaching career, habitation at 72 Hastings Avenue.
Saying goodbye, at least for now, to friends with whom I have had breakfast most Saturday mornings for nearly 16 years, my Monday night knitting group, my Friday night dinners with Katherine, walking Zoey and my previous dogs at Ashbridges Bay and lots of other wonderful events and connections.
But I am also building a new foundation.
Or I should say a few new foundations. In my mind the one and a half story garage in Owen Sound is already transformed into a workshop with bigger windows, great lighting, and heating, so that I can use it all year.
There are stations on both floors that are ready for me to work with wool and make felt, make jewellery from stones I have collected, or will collect in the future.
And of course, make things out of leather because I am attending Scuola del Cuoio, School of Leather, in Florence next summer.
Or making things out of felt, pebbles and leather and who knows what else, all in one piece.
And holding workshops, and asking others to come and teach, and and and. As far as the mind can imagine.
But that is jumping ahead. Between now and then there is a whole year. I am delighted and awed that friends and family are joining me on my adventure. Over the last few weeks I have met with family and friends, and have more to come, to look at maps, talk about routes, investigate the logistics of getting together. No easy task when I am floating down a canal with no fixed address. I am honoured that people are creating trips for themselves, creating a curve in their lives to meet up with the curve of my life, both on the boat and in Florence. These days I often think about a pebble dropping in a pond and ripples that it causes. The effect on many lives that one event can have. This, I hope, is a happy pebble, causing happy ripples.
Do I sometimes worry about the changes I am making. About leaving my home,
friends, community, the street party I helped to create, the wide circle of friends that weave into and enrich the fabric of my life. Yes, I do. But one thing is certain about life, it is always changing, whether we like it or not. So I could hold on tight to the way things are, or jump off into a different future. So I am packing up my house, and packing my bags. Making room for jewellery tools, canal books, maps and maps and maps. Of England, but also Europe for the drive to Florence after arriving by ferry in Amsterdam. I am scared, a little intimidated, but ready, although sad that my much loved canine companion, Zoey, will not be with me.
It seems as though I develop the blog in my mind, and sit and write it in one shot. I edit a bit the next day, but I am no grammar expert or linguist so this is my best effort. That aside I had to add that over the last while Toronto has felt claustrophobic, too much going on. On my street and back alley two garages have been built, two houses roofed (one accompanied by loud obnoxious music), a front garden landscaped with diggers and saws cutting stone. It has felt hard to get away from the noise and intensity, extra traffic and dirt. As if to kick me on the ass as I am leaving Toronto, a jack hammer started up on Hastings at 7 am this morning. No retirement sleep for me!