We are moving back to the UK in the Summer. It is a bizarre process in some ways, particularly with small children, because your head is full of big life questions but their daily needs are still so dominant. I was told once that people either experience life as ‘in timers’ where they are distracted by the moment, or ‘through timers’ where they always have some thought directed to whats happening next. I am very much in the first category. This poem tries to express how it feels when you are preparing to move. It reads slightly surreally and disjointed. But then again, that’s how it feels.
One place at a time
“When you move countries, you live where you are living all the time…until you dont.
All the normal mechanics of life only ever happen in one place at a time. You shop, cook, wash, supervise homework, go to the playground in the same way you always did.
“When are you leaving? How is packing going?” is what you think about with other people. When you are on your own, it is just a list of jobs that need doing, sometimes more or less complicated than at other times, and sometimes it all feels overwhelming, but whatever happens in life, aren’t there always lots of jobs to do and decisions to make?
At the weekend you go to a mixture of places you have been before and you like, and places you haven’t been before, Just because you won’t go many more times does not mean you aren’t fully experiencing it: Just because you might not see someone much or at all once you move does not mean you don’t value them or appreciate their friendship now. Life is always moving on, even if you stay in one place.
But once you do move, you are no longer living there. You will then be experiencing somewhere else. And all the normal mechanics of life will take place there. And it doesn’t matter where you were living the week before, apart from the things in your head, like the fact that you might keep thinking you catch sight of people who you knew in the other place.
People don’t see you leave. It is just that you are no longer where they would normally see you. They might remark to each other that they miss you… Or they might not.
People don’t see you arrive. One day you just happen to interact with them in the course of their lives. They might say it’s nice that you moved there…. Or they might not.
Because their day is happening, just as yours is, in the place where they live.”