Thursday, October 24, 2013

Just look at the pictures

Dusting the Storyloom.
These days, I find myself spending a lot of my free time staring at my bookshelf. I guess I did this before, either looking for the next book to read or finding a space for a new puppet, but I've never looked at it quite like this before. It's an almost floor to ceiling bookshelf, taking up one entire wall of my room. It's the only reason I wanted this room to begin with- besides the shelf it's not great. My room is in the front of the house, so I find myself keeping my curtains closed all the time to keep the street out, I have a very small bed, and my desk is so small it does not deserve to be called a desk. There are better rooms in the house, but this one has the shelf, so here I am.

August this year marked a year of living in this house, and my 3rd year of living in Oxford. In the year we've lived in this house, I have had a great time filling my shelf. It's mostly full of books and folders and notebooks and the like, but also puppets, nicknacks, pictures and craft supplies that I've been collecting from various jobs (or saved more like from places that, for some reason, wanted to throw away perfectly good cardboard and pieces of card and other packing materials that can be used for a million fun new things), and as a result the shelf became something of a constantly-evolving instillation of sorts, for no-one's benefit but my own. I haven't been documenting it since it changed so often (some days I like nothing more than rearranging my books), and now it's in a state of organized disarray pending my return to the USA in January. Now I have a shelf of books I'm definitely not taking home, a shelf of books that belong to other people that I need to read and return, and then the worst one- the shelf of books whose fate has yet to be decided. Did anyone else feel the need as a child to let all their stuffed animals and dolls know that even if they can't all sleep with you in your bed, that doesn't mean you love them any less? This was a major concern for me when I was little, making sure everyone felt loved regardless of the selective nature of who slept where. It's happening again, but this time with my books. But this time I can make no promises.

I used to think I wasn't a materialistic person, but that has never in any way been true. I like my things- I like living in a space that I've crafted of things I enjoy, being surrounded by colors and shapes and pictures and books. Whenever I go to the USA to visit, I really enjoy sitting in my childhood bedroom, reunited with all my things- my record player, more books, photo albums and sentimental evidence that I've actually done some cool things and known and loved awesome people. And it's the same here- my room is full of things I've collected over the last three years that make my room feel like mine. And now I have to pick and chose what comes and what stays when, to be completely honest, the only real treasures I want to bring back with me are the ones impossible to pack. I'll let you guess who I mean. (hint: EVERYONE)

And, just like the luck I've always seemed to have, I keep making new friends months before I have to leave. Like, really good ones too, not just a few more pleasant acquaintances. I try to just enjoy it, enjoy spending time with everyone and try really hard not to think about if they'll even remember me a year from now, but I'm pretty bad at it. I'm sorry about this blog- it's really, really self indulgent. I'm silent for months, then this is all you get for your patience- Maria complaining about having great friends. Someone should really slap me.

My parents are too cute.
 So I guess what I'm getting at is that things are weird. Life is weird- never been weirder. I go to work, to a different place every day just like I have been doing for the last year, and it's business as normal. Then I remember that it's not, that I need to be packing and figuring out what to do with my clothes and what I should do with my bike and where I'll even be living in January (I'll be homeless for a while before I go) and maybe about how I should probably buy a plane ticket already. But instead I wander through town in search of Halloween costume ideas. Same as it ever was.

Let's have some picture- pictures are always good. 


The cranes of Berlin

The Holocaust Memorial in Berlin

speaking of new friends


That's all for now.

~ Maria

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