When I sold my house last year, I was also in the midst of changing jobs. I couldn’t make a long-term decision about where to live, so I rented the home of someone who’s away for two years. A lot of the owner’s stuff is still in the house and a lot of my stuff is still in boxes. I’m learning what I can live with, and what I can’t live without. It’s a medium-term experiment in roughing it, indoors. It turns out that I like having a gas stove, I never use the living room, and there is still no such thing as “enough desk space.”
I kept all my books on anatomy and colour at my office, the ones I knew for sure I’d need for classroom teaching. I packed all of the rest of my books in boxes and lined the living room walls with them. Forty-five boxes of books. Forty-five.
This should be one of those Walden Pond stories where I learn to let go of worldly possessions. Simplicity. Zen. Minimalism. Hell no. Hell no. You can have my fondue pot, bar stools and four-harness loom but I want my damned books back.
I can’t wait to get those books unpacked. I still mentally reach for something specific from my own library at least weekly. I want to reference them for lesson planning, loan them to friends, and show them to students. The next desert island I’m stranded on, I’m bringing water, flint, Swiss Army knife, and sunblock, and I’m building my shelter from forty-five boxes of books.