We’ve today accomplished another small stride in the alteration of our lives. With the help of two neighbours who own a flatbed truck we removed and returned the dining room furnishings temporarily expropriated by us from my sister’s trove of antique pine collectibles. There has been an unprecedented commitment to change since our return from Key Largo last April. It began mercilessly with setting up the new apartment (the construction of which had been completed two days later than scheduled last November when we precipitously departed for our winter sojourn). Upon our return home everything was still in boxes. The adjustment is a mission as yet incomplete though we’re almost there. We’re waiting for the delivery of new dining room furniture. Thereafter it should be detail only, no longer the substantive items.
Decorating a new place is a critical determination of what does or what does not fit. We’ve progressively abandoned multiple pieces of furniture which were oversized for the small apartment. We’ve insisted upon keeping whatever we appraise our favourite things, especially mahogany furniture, art work, rugs and accessories such as clocks, decanters, millefiori, brass ornaments, walking sticks, photographs, sculpture and woodwork. Settling the interior of the nest is always with the object of undisturbed contemplation of the upriver view from the balcony or sitting room. Ours is a lookout in that respect, the garret of the castle on the hill whence we regard the open fields and the tranquil river beyond.
In the process of completing (and altering and rearranging) the apartment we’ve delved into a number of other stockpiles and agenda. It is all part of thinning out. A number of things have been shredded or discarded. Some we’ve “recycled” where possible. Commensurately we seek to give more than metaphorical assertion to the enterprise of thinning out; viz., attention to what and how much we’re eating. Thankfully we’re spared the cosmetic absorption which is so often characteristic of thinning out and which ultimately gives way to the cruel satisfaction of deprivation. Instead the undertaking is strictly a matter of numbers and the unflattering ambition to avoid having to carry the equivalent of a 20# bag of potatoes every day from morning until night. This devotion, like furnishings, is a question of propriety and size. Because of the anticipated comfort to be derived from being undersized, the eliminations are never disappointing. It is a plan of action which is little more annoying than having to remember to brush one’s teeth.
Finally there is the indisputable psychological advantage of thinning out. In spite of having had to move twice in the past ten years, the process has not lost its appetizing ingredient of culling and ejection. There is always the opportunity to divest oneself of superflous (though still useable) items. I must confess we’ve diluted the sting of abandonment by purchasing other things which augment our possessions. One of these – a magazine subscription – remains outstanding because the US$ international charge was declined by our bank in Chicago. Getting through to those people – especially when they’ve putatively blocked a scammer on one’s behalf – is not without its delay and challenges. I am anxious to conclude the matter – as I suppose I would be in any event. But it is the last of what have been inordinately trifling obstructions and of no especial disruption apart from their inconvenience.