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.