Things are looking VERY GOOD for us to be moving into a new home in Portland in little less than a week. This is the kind of news I wanted to sit on until it felt precisely certain. It's taken too much energy to get here; I didn't want to spend even more energy to explain it, if things had fallen apart.
This new home is tucked in the corner of a sweet neighborhood five miles from the center of the city; and it's small. It's so small that we are thinking about getting a very, very small fridge (10 cubic feet). There's a breakfast nook—it's 4 feet wide by 5 feet deep. There are exactly two, tiny bedrooms. And one bathroom that's just big enough for a tub and toilet and pedestal sink.
It's the kind of space that has me truly rethinking my wardrobe and kitchen tools and books and stuff and time. The allocation and importance of each.
In the past many weeks, we've looked for and found this house; I've had several incredible design projects on my plate; and our baby has turned into a real-life toddler (as of this week, she can climb/fall out of her crib ... just in time to move into her new house and maybe a growed-up bed).
And, I don't know, something about this storm of events keeps me returning to this notion that—allocation of time and stuff—I want to put down my phone. That I want to step away from screens at every chance I can take.
I want my eyeballs back.
I want to pull them back from this space where they've been floating, six inches in front of my face, in a stew of words and backlight and twitching, two-dimensional images. I want to plant them firmly back in my skull and let them rest. And then open them and look out through them to see the light fall onto things. Onto and into a little (baby)toddler face. Onto a street. Onto and through trees.
I want to feel that power again to choose where I lay my gaze, to hold a gaze, to try very hard not to avert my gaze when challenged. Feel the roundness of those eyeballs as they shift to take in information.
I've started leaving my phone at home when I take Saazie and King on walks. I don't bring technology into the bedroom. I try to read a book or listen to the radio during breakfast—no digital anything until an hour after I wake up. And to be more clear, I read a book OR listen to the radio. If I'm reading, I want to read. If I'm listening, I want to listen. And if I'm looking, I want to look. There is so much to see. King eating breakfast or climbing over the couch or playing in the tub. People walking down the street, firefighters washing their truck, bats collecting in the air just above the street.
I have a little plan to take this a step further after we settle into our new home. Unpacking done, office set up, clothes folded and put away ... and that's when I'll turn off everything for a week. Just one week. I don't know exactly why, or what will come of it. But doesn't it sound delicious? Doesn't it sound like impromptu dance parties in the kitchen, and digging in the yard, and conversations with the neighbors?