I Am So Moved by Diane Lowman

March 30, 2016 | By | 4 Replies More

I pace back and forth like a caged animal on carpet covered with what appears to be extremely wide scotch tape, incarcerated by cardboard boxes stacked nearly ceiling-high. I do not know where to start and I cannot rest until I do. Every time I peel the packing tape back enough to peek in to a box, I see stuff that I’m saving for things that won’t happen, even though I shed most of the contents of my home before the movers came to pack and ship me off to this new, downsized apartment.

Over the 18 years that I lived in that house, my children grew and my marriage broke. As a single empty-nester, the house felt like someone else’s coat. Someone who had a young family and needed a big yard.

One of my yoga teachers said that life is like the ocean: full of inevitable, unavoidable waves. We can frolic in and ride with them, or we can flail and let them pull us under.

Lately I’ve been flailing. The stormy surf of the moving process has tugged and tumbled me. My personal tsunami began with the decision to sell the house, and preparing to put it on the market, and keeping it pristine for visitors. Each showing had me riding high on waves of hope, which were dashed when they didn’t produce an offer. I was afloat in inspections, title searches, and paperwork signing; seasick in limbo.

The riptide of weeding and whittling of all my belongings, packing what remained, and the physical move sucked me under and left me gasping for air. The daunting tasks of unpacking and attempting to settle have me struggling to surface from a sea of cartons. I am exhausted. Proud and empowered, but tired and resentful of doing everything by myself.

Waking up in the new apartment, I’m disoriented, not quite sure where I am. It takes a moment for the fuzz to lift and the reality to dawn on me. In my car, I have to resist the instinct to drive to the old house and remind myself to instead to drive to the new apartment.

I have mixed feelings about the move, and my moods changes like the waves on the shore where I walk almost every day to soothe them.

I am as battered and worn as driftwood. To be perfectly fair to the furniture I have bumped into each piece at least once, creating an interesting mosaic of ocean-colored bruises on my limbs. I have lifted and moved heavy boxes out of tight and awkward spots so I can get to other boxes in hope of finding something I need. I actually almost cried for joy when I found the laundry detergent. I could finally wash everything I’d sweated through profusely in the endeavor. I have put things away which I now cannot find, and still cannot find places for things I haven’t put away

Yet, despite feeling awash in despair, I see rays of light: I can sit on the terrace with my Buddha statue and see trees and stars and the moon.

I go out every single night before I go to sleep to look at the sky, just like I did every night when I worked on a container ship many years ago. There, too, the seas were sometimes calm, and sometimes rough, but the big red ship abided. Silent and strong, slicing through the sea. So I relish this moment in the day that reminds me that I am at home. Surf’s up; let’s ride.

Writer’s Note about the Container Ship

Diane spent the summer after her sophomore year at Middlebury College working on a German container ship.  She sailed for  three months on Hamburg-Sud’s Columbus-Australia to ports  between New York and Australia and New Zealand, accompanied by its crew of 26 men.  She swabbed decks and mended linens and had the opportunity to visit Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane in Australia, and Dunedin, Wellington, and Auckland in New Zealand.  She waved at Tahiti, and befriended the pilots who helped the ship navigate the Panama Canal.   She plans to write more about her adventures.

Diane Lowman is a single mother of two young adult men, living in Norwalk, Connecticut.  In addition to writing about life, she teaches yoga, provides nutritional counseling, and tutors Spanish.  She looks forward to what’s next.

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Category: When Women Waken Literary Journal

Comments (4)

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  1. Diane, this is just wonderful writing. You convey your mixed feelings with eloquence! It was a pleasure to read.

  2. Susan says:

    I loved this Diane! It seems that Scrabble is not the only medium you exceed in;). I love to write as well. If you’d like to get some coffee sone time, it would be fun.

  3. Mali Warshofsky says:

    Its a special gift to be able to articulate mundane events so beautifully, as if no one has experienced them. I applaud you. This is wonderfully written, peppered with wisdom and insight. I enjoyed tremendously reading this.

  4. Oh, a move and shedding bits of the past. I also made such a move a decade ago, and boxes overwhelmed me too. Life is full of common experiences. This is so well articulated, your strengths as well as your vulnerability. Thank you for such an empathetic read.

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