Jun 28, 2016

Cardboard Boxes and Cheese Knives

I am surrounded by cardboard boxes.

They consist mostly of books and kitchen stuff, which is fairly representative of who I am as a person. (I haven't packed the CDs yet.) One thing I have learned from my recent packing experience is that I officially own more cheese knives than one person could reasonably be expected to use at any given time without being in serious need of some bran.

As an aside, I have rewritten history here for dramatic effect, as I actually came to the too-many-cheese-knives revelation some months ago. I think I might even have already written about it. In truth, I haven't even packed the cheese knives yet. But I have packed many boxes full of kitchen gadgets that only get used a couple times a year, and the cheese knife epiphany of having too much kitchen stuff is applicable. Since we don't actually move for a couple of weeks, I have whittled the cupboards and drawers down to the necessities; some cutlery, some bowls and plates, a few glasses, a couple of pots and pans, a can opener, and a cheese grater are all anyone really needs. (I do really like my lemon zester, though.)

I enjoy moving, the act of packing up one's existence, deciding what must stay and what can go. And I enjoy the act of unpacking later, too, and putting everything in its place. If you come to my home, you will always find exactly what you need in the exact place that you need it. Order brings me peace, and I loathe clutter. (Mostly because I really hate dusting, but also because, generally speaking, objects hold little value for me. I say 'generally' because I tried and failed to get rid of my Strawberry Shortcake dolls not too long ago, so I have obviously developed some emotional attachments to things, despite my best efforts.)

By putting things into cardboard boxes, I am in the process of detaching myself from this place that has been my home for the past 11+ years. Memories were made here, and I will take those with me, like the boxes of books and all those cheese knives. People (and one cat) have come and gone from my life while I lived here, and I am glad for the time spent with them just as I am sad that they are gone.

I will miss the spider in the insulation that is now buried behind drywall and paint; the new owners will not know he exists. I will also miss Roy, the royal maple tree we planted in the backyard, who has grown tall enough to block the neighbour's window, which was our original intent. He is a fine tree.

I will miss the street name, which is also the name of the childhood doll my father made for me, and address, which means "angel" in Korean and must surely be responsible for some of my success: my last name also means "angel," but in German, and I make my living helping Korean students write essays. If I was the type of person who believes in fate, and I'm not entirely sure that I'm not, I would chalk those auspicious coincidences up to her for sure.

I am caught between a nostalgic melancholy for the old and excitement for the new. There will almost certainly be new people and new parties in the new house, new conflicts and new resolutions. I am looking forward to those people and those experiences and to how they will help me learn about myself and about the world. I am looking forward to nurturing what will one day grow from a skinny sapling into a fine tree.

And I am looking forward to one day using all those cheese knives at once. I hope you can be there to help me use them. Riot on.