Thursday, June 16, 2016

Year Three

I wonder how many years I can count in this way. It seems like I'm stretching a conceit. But I am still surprised by the fact of the nest. Still grateful.
There have been more changes. More paint. For me getting a tattoo and painting have been similar. One tattoo made me want another. One painted wall made me want to paint another. New blinds after the old ones broke for a second time. Various fixtures have been replaced. The nest feels more mine.
R says home improvement is the opiate of the masses. Indeed.
When I landed in the nest I had many boxes of books to unpack. But first I hired a guy to add some shelves to my shelves. (That's an awkward sentence.) (Heh.) I wanted my books to be standing up. I had to put them in piles to fit them on the shelves, which was OK but I just had a ... thing. I wanted them to be in rows, standing straight up. He added the shelves and I unpacked in a rush.
I also wanted all of the books written by a specific author to be together, which is tough because they aren't all the same size. Then I had the wall of shelves built. I emptied one of the bigger shelves onto them and worked on making them appear full. They aren't even close to full. At my current rate of purchasing they never will be. It might be cool if I did fill them. And just as I placed the last book on the shelf I fell down dead.
I guess we'll see.
From time to time I'm looking at a shelf and notice a book by an author separated from others and I shuffle things to make it right. I also shuffle things to accommodate new books by specific authors. This relatively constant shuffling is ridiculously fun for me. I stare at my books almost as much as I read them.
I read an article that mentioned Kathy Acker and went looking for the two books I have, which had been in the to be read pile at one point but got lost in the post move manic shelving. I looked and looked and couldn't find them. One night I sat down in the chair next to the wall of shelves and there was Empire of the Senses. I don't even know what the other one was but I still can't find it. I regularly look at one specific shelf for the other Acker. That shelf is not big but I look and look. One night while looking I noticed one Camus but didn't see the others. It was late. I needed to get to sleep. I lay in bed fretting. The next day I looked again and found all but one Camus scattered around the same shelf. Now they are grouped.
Home improvement is largely done. Book shifting will go on for years. I take comfort and pleasure in the fact of the nest. Which I need because watching my mother's brain shrink is the most heart breaking thing I have ever lived through. I've cried every day for three months. I am drained.
I'm  more at home in the nest but less at home in Hood River. I'm not sure I ever will feel at home here.
My life is a melancholy and repetitive. I rarely have fun. Shifting books on a shelf is tonic. I've never felt that counting my blessing and feeling my endless sadness were mutually exclusive.
Three years.