Living out of cardboard boxes

Living out of cardboard boxes doesn’t do much my creativity. All my energy seems to be spent on sorting, packing, lifting, carting, storing, then trying to find a piece of paper buried within the tomb of a pyramid of cartons.

I should be used to it by now. I’ve moved enough times in my lifetime. But this particular period of transcience is different. I don’t have my boxes with me. They are in storage, a pyramid within another box (the storage shed).

So where does that leave me? In a new town, in a new (temporary) job, living out of suitcases and staying with family in the interim. But the interim what? The saying, ‘life is a journey’ has never been more literal for my circumstances.

I feel a bit like a snail: slow, carrying it’s home on it’s back, leaving a trail of ectoplasm behind, secretive, focussed.

I have an inkling, a little light inside me, that knows where this journey will lead – at least to the next station.

I am not afraid of change. Change excites me, motivates me. My adventures are both external and internal. I am not weary. I have learned to hold my energies close, and how to re-energise at each change of station as my journey continues.

My poetry anthology ‘Letterboxes: Indigenous Poetry’ has a poem in it about life in cardboard boxes. You can get an e-book of my poetry from www.oceanbooks.co.nz by the way. (Smiles). The theme of ‘Letterboxes’ is journeying. Each poem in that book relates to a house I have lived in, and about the experiences there. And about personal growth through those experiences. I guess it is something of a memoir – is ‘memoirable’ a word?

But, as I said before, never before has my life been cast in such a thin shadow. My life seems ephemeral, unreal. I know it is real. But the walls of houses, the solidity of buildings and the encasing of material possessions doesn’t seem real. I know when I move on from this particular station (or holding place), it will no longer exist on a material level. It will continue to exist, however, in my mind and in my heart.

On a lighter note, if I ever meet someone special who wants me to be part of his life, I can honestly say “I come with no baggage”. All my baggage has been sorted along the way.

If I look back – something I do from time to time – I can see my baggage strewn behind me, that ectoplasmic trail of be-longings. It looks chaotic, has some of the characteristics of a minefield, a treasury, a playground, all rolled into one big long highway.

The road ahead however, is an empty space. Even as I picture it now, I am mentally filling it with longing, dreams, aspirations, people, places – you see, already it is becoming busy. So I stop thinking about the future.

I know one day I will have to go back and sort out the remainder of my past – that pyramid of cartons in the holding vault. I don’t think I put Pandora’s Box in there with that lot. I think I left Pandora’s Box somewhere in a basement, in the shadows, of a house I lived in long ago. I have not intention of revisiting that place. Some places you don’t want to go back to. Some places you don’t need to go back to.

Yes, I will have to go back to the pyramid one day. When I do, I will be threshing through the remainder of my past life, sorting out the remainder of the chaff from the good stuff. And I will find that piece of paper I’ve been looking for.

 

 

 

I

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May 19, 2013 · 10:30 am

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