Mansion Sweet Mansion

The up and downs of the past few days has been an experience so unique I can hardly describe it.  With the announcement of a “authorized voluntary departure” from Japan, I’ve been preparing our home in the event that I needed to leave in a flash.  So yesterday I packed a few of our prized possessions in a box and shipped them away to my family.  This was surreal for several reasons.  I felt slightly paranoid.  Walking around your house and deciding what you can and can’t replace is an exercise in detachment and makes you realize what has sentimental value when it doesn’t deserve it.  As strange as it sounds, I sometimes think I wouldn’t mind starting our home over from a clean slate.  In reality the thought is devastating, but at the same time freeing.  It’s an opportunity to practice Franciscan thought, and a reminder that maybe you haven’t been practicing it so well.  If you could only take a few things, what would you take with you?  As an insight to my character, here’s what I mailed away over the past few days.

My sketchbooks – Since college, I have been carrying and recording ideas in sketchbooks.  I have about five, full of ideas, writings, drawings, scribbling, and other nonsense which will most likely never see the light of day.  However, it is a somewhat jumbled record of my life over the past 6 years, and I think I would like to have them in the future.

Jose’s notebooks – the equivalent of my sketchbooks, but Jose style.

Jose’s pipe (tobacco, not crack) – it is a beautiful meerschaum pipe that one of his best friends gave him, and he loves it.

Two vases I received as wedding presents – they’re beautiful and I love them.

The Icon of the Holy Family we had blessed at our wedding

Jose’s very nice suit – it was really expensive, and I would want him to have it.

My favorite film camera – a twin lens reflex film camera that I adore

Family Photos, Home videos and negatives

Our super-sharp ninja-esque Japanese sushi knives – In this position of having to choose things in your home that you really love that couldn’t be replaced, I tried to think of what I would really really miss?  What would Jose really miss?  What items would offer us a bit of comfort because we had managed to save them?  These knives are flipping awesome, and every time I cook something I think this.  Leaving would be a little less harsh if we could bring them with us.  So I shipped them away, but now I will be months without them.  Ah me, the hardships we face.

My brand new immersion blender – here’s where a little bit of crazy takes over.  I just bought this immersion blender!  I was so excited about it!  I haven’t even had the chance to use it yet!  I am not leaving it behind!!!!

In addition are the things I am carrying with us, which is merely clothes and a jumble of electronic equipment – cameras, computers, more cameras and chargers.  But the one final sentimental thing I’m bringing is a wedding blessing certificate from the Holy Father, from our beloved friend who is a holy father.  It’s in a fat huge frame, but if time comes to leave I’m busting it out of its frame jail and rolling it up.  I don’t want to do that, because it looks so pretty just where it’s at.

At times throughout the past few days I’ve thought of scenarioes where we would leave our apartment and never come back.  It certainly wouldn’t be the first time it’s happened to anybody, but I know without any sense of panic that we’d be fine.  Jose, the Boo and I would move on with our lives, happily even.  As I was choosing things, I thought of our future life, of what I would like my kids to be able to see, what I would like a new home to have if we couldn’t have everything.  And by golly, we’re all set!  Sushi knives and immersion blender, check!  So no worries here no matter what happens, we’re ready to leave it all.