Right now, I’d say around 93% of my possessions are in Germany. The other 7% (a not insignificant shoe collection, an enormous box of books and half of my, also not insignificant, fragrance collection) are in storage somewhere in Sydney. Of that 93%, around 79% of it is in Weiden. The remaining 21% – winter clothes, boots, a few perfumes, books and a clutch of my, also not insignificant, tea cup collection – is in Kiel. Slowly and relatively surely, with side-trips and wardrobe-swaps and packing, so much fecking packing, life is migrating to one spot, one mother-hub, one home.
This weekend, after Berlin, we drove down to Weiden, the mother-hub, to relieve our wonderful friend of his plant watering duties for a couple of days, air out the place and transfer a portion of my boxes that were shipped (entirely unsatisfactorily, if I am being honest) from Sydney to Kiel. Life in Kiel will wrap up in three and a half months time and all we have taken up there or indeed accrued up there through various means, will need to be ferried back down here. We thought we’d get a head start and get a car load down now. I also took the opportunity to cram most of my Winter clothes (not all, Winter is not yet over, it’s only April …) into the car, to replace with Spring/Summer garb fetched from Weiden, because our tiny quarters in Kiel simply cannot handle a bi-seasonal wardrobe.
Back down here, the bubble wrap was ripped off all of the things that made the journey from Sydney to Kiel and a lot of the bits and pieces found a home. Many didn’t. Which stirred up that thrilling sensation I attach to the idea of home decorating. The idea of getting new shelves to fill with books and frames and bottles and bowls, of hanging up the pictures and posters, of creating some sort of tea and coffee cup shrine fills me with the most peculiar, energising delight. But of course all of that has to wait a few more months. There are more car trips to be made, more packing to be done, goodbyes to be said, another city to be left. (And thinking about that makes me think, yes, perhaps the decorating can wait.)
So, sitting in our ‘principal residence’ which is not quite home to all we own, but will be soon and even then, only temporarily, I see something, quite clearly – this whole thing is an ongoing process, a work in progress, not just mentally, but physically and the two elements seem to have an intricate, inextricable relationship with each other. Until we are still, somewhere, at some point in time, this feeling of being scattered and this state of being scattered will be the status quo. And that isn’t a bad thing – like all things in life this state and all that comes with it is in equal measures frustrating, interesting, exciting, comforting and known. Having things in storage in Sydney is like having a tie to a life from my home country. Having things divided between two places in Germany is a constant reminder of all the change and excitement that has already occurred and all that is to come.
And another thing I think I see, or perhaps not see but suspect – even when still, the process will goes on, the work will remain in progress. Because we aren’t ever really still, are we? Even when 100% of our possessions are under the one roof, when routine is settled into, something comes along to break that, to mess it up. People walk in and walk out, plans change or get changed by forces greater than any of us. Shit, both good and bad, happens and it happens constantly in order to ensure nothing stays the same.
Such is life, yes?