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Alice Rahon: Gato Nocturno (circa 1941)
"Whatever I seek also seeks my presence."

Moving in induces temporary anarchy which might well become permanent. The things I cannot find seem to rule my mind, displacing fluid motion. I move around rather than through, so much of living seems a detour. Halfway anywhere and trajectory changes, lengthening each excursion and decimating schedules. Much just happens when it happens or simply fails to occur at all. Lunches missed, suppers delayed, alarm clocks wake randomly or fail to ring at all. Catchup serves as the default condiment and dominant occupation. Hurrider going, slowing progress, with occasional glimpses of limited successes. The remaining unpacking rooms appear to be trending toward permanent mess. Some stuff seems destined for cordoning off, boxes of unmentionables and unthinkables better left for Pandora to sort through. Early days limp by.

Later, shards of schedules emerge to suggest nascent rhythms, different tempos for different tasks, but with an increasing sense of fitness for purpose.
The cats help, for they rely upon their supper at precisely the same time every afternoon and their breakfast each predawn. They impose first rhythm, which seems like a huge imposition, always coming when I'm in the indeterminate middle of attempting something else. They interrupt and they insist and I finally catch on that it's just easier to relent and respond. Repeated for a week or two and they've established a toehold of normalcy, an underlying rhythm regulating me. Other tempos follow as I grow to anticipate their completely predictable interruptions until they're no longer distractions but central focus. I time my afternoons to coincide with the rhythm they insist upon. They're taming me, the feral mover, into a homebody again.

I impose my own sense, too. I rise early and perform my rituals and eventually, I find that Molly has perfectly anticipated my every next move. She's waiting for me when I enter the kitchen and beats me to my early morning chair, then awaits me when I head upstairs to my desk. She's already warming the spot where she'll guard my laptop while I work, lest any interruption hamper my progress, accepting head scratches as fair compensation for her efforts, occasionally strutting around the desktop to show her presence, nudging my shoulder and accepting cheek scratches. She gets bolder each day while I get tamer. My breakfast warms in the double boiler while I write, clear evidence of encroaching domesticity and order. I start to see my day unfolding before me. I almost hold a plan by the time I've finished writing. A list appears and that almost tragic sense of falling ever further behind starts gaining on itself until it's almost even. Focus returns. A sense of competence follows.

The search for any specific thing encourages unpacking. The three or four boxes opened while searching reveal other treasures, resolving other mysteries. Husker Du in multiple dimensions. Once found, never quite as lost again. Things find their places more than I organize them, but once they've found their home, their very position imposes subtle rhythm. An organizing principle emerges from chaos and the things themselves start demonstrating intelligence. There are some places no self respecting screwdriver would secret itself, limiting the choices and shortening searches. Even The Muse catches on, which limits her questions about where so-and-such has gone. Tools return to their accustomed spaces once they've grown accustomed to a space of their own. I cannot say who established order, just that it's there. I believe that we imposed it upon each other, unconsciously conspiring to establish some sense of normal. I suspect that it's every bit as upsetting for every lost item to not get found as it is for me who cannot find it yet. An unrequited relationship exists until we finally connect, and I believe it takes the whole community's involvement to resolve these disconnects. Whatever I seek also seeks my presence. We blunder, sure, but ultimately reconnect.

©2021 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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