Jim, the driver, picked up our load in Hackensack, New Jersey, and carried all this stuff in his pocket for the five days it took to get to us.
He said he wasn't sure where any of it came from, but the guys who ferried and loaded all the stuff from our apartment insisted it was ours.
The key, yes, from the small pine dresser drawer. The chipped white elephant ear from the leg of a tiny table, yes. The handle and knobbed foot? Someone else's lost pieces. Seemed kind of fitting for that shell-shocked week after the election.
It was bewildering for sure. Packing up for months in small spurts between tour dates. Voting. Then moving on November 10. We spent a week here with a bed, a step stool and some wine. Suddenly alone. None of those New York voices that don't hold back one bit. No tv. Quiet.
As they unloaded box after box on move in day, I began wishing we had brought nothing. We could start over. Do better. Work even harder. I confess I thought that even as I was packing. Even as we sat on the floor the evening before the truck rolled up. I thought, what if they just never came. Would I miss anything? How do we even start this next stretch in our lives, not to mention the next four years navigating this country's deep divides.
I will glue the ear back on the elephant. I will put the key back in the pine dresser drawer, maybe tape it down this time. I will unpack only the things I treasure. I will discard the unnecessaries. Keep those two lost others' pieces as a reminder to listen. I will get back to work.
Here is where Mary Oliver always speaks:
"Are my boots old? Is my coat torn?
Am I no longer young and still not half perfect?
Let me keep my mind on what matters, which is my work,
Which is mostly standing still and learning to be astonished...."