“Poetry is not a turning loose of emotion, but an escape from emotion; it is not the expression of personality, but an escape from personality. But, of course, only those who have personality and emotions know what it means to want to escape from these things.” –T.S. Eliot
We are currently in the process of a very quick move. For those of you who know me, you know that I am a planner, and I absolutely hate moving. We planned all year to move to back home, but God had other plans. Every attempt we made at settling there or staying in Columbia was a disaster. My brilliant husband was completely unable to secure a job of any kind in either area. Then we got a call from a state university, and I had my first tiny thought that we might be headed there. I pushed it out of my mind and went on looking for any flicker of hope for Columbia. Then we went to visit this school, and I knew. I knew we were moving there before either of us had a job there. I had such peace about moving to that city, and so did Matt. So, I wasn’t surprised when Matt and I both were offered positions there. I wasn’t surprised when our house in Columbia sold after only 3 weeks on the market, and I wasn’t surprised when we found a great house after one day of looking. I wasn’t surprised when the owners of that house accepted our first (rather low) offer. When the Creator of the universe wants you to move to a new city, undoubtedly, things start falling into place. It’s like my favorite Neruda poem: “everything carries me to you/ as if everything that exists,/ aromas, light, metals,/ were little boats/ that sail/ towards those isles of yours that wait for me.” It’s that way. Everything is carrying us there. So, I have peace, despite the chaos around me. We’ll be in there in two weeks. Now I’m sorting through all this stuff we’ve accumulated over the past four years in our little house. I always find myself setting out to pack a box, and I end up reading the books on the shelf that I’m packing. I always seem to find one that represents my own feelings at the time. We have such mixed feelings about moving. I am happy to be done with residency, and I am anxious to move to a new place to test out my skills on my own, but Matt and I are both devastated to be leaving our church and the family that we have there. Reading has provided a catharsis for me through all of this. Sitting on the floor in my living room, I came across a poem by my friend, Maryfrances Wagner, “Pilgrims,” which reminded me of other times in my life like this. She reminds me, “Along this path, it’s easier/ to hunt bittersweet than meaning.” I know.