10 February 2012

Moving House

By tomorrow, if not this evening, my family will have moved out of the house where I grew up. My folks were given a week to get everything out and over to a different house on a different street. The news came one week ago and was short notice for everyone—too short for me and my brother to fly home suddenly, help with the move, and say goodbye to our old house.

That's the mixed blessing of living in company housing, I guess. My family will still be living in Kalsangi, but when I next go home, it'll be to a different house.

I wish we'd known at Christmas; I would have taken more pictures. In recent years, I didn't take so many pictures of the house, because I'd always believed it was the same house I'd always return to; all my family's trails led back to one place. Now, I'm making do with what I can dig up from my computer and my old Multiply account.

If I had to pick just three photos to share, it would be these.

The front door, of course, and the beginning and end of everything (sorry about the light).

My brothers in the sala, before dinner. This space was the most alive part of the house. After I started working, I spent more and more time here than in my own room whenever I was home.

Half of the view from my bedroom window in the morning. It never failed to make me feel glad to be where I was.

When I next go home (I don't know when that will be), someone else will have this view, and I'll have something else to wake up to. I feel a little sick thinking about it.

I had always believed that we would live in our house, and my mom had once told me that we would likely turn down any offer to move to a nicer house. As far as we were concerned, we already had the nicest house in the neighborhood. I'm having trouble understanding now the reasons we have to move.

To me, the house was a physical space that contained my past. While I knew we wouldn't have that space forever, I'd always believed that I'd have time to go back and be the one to empty it. I knew where everything was, waiting for me, and I knew how I'd carry it away. But, I don't get to do that right now. Next time I go home, everything will be in mysterious boxes, or in the wrong box, or on the wrong shelf, and it will feel like visiting a museum of myself that someone else has curated.

When my brother and I got the news, we both told our parents the same thing.

"Don't throw anything away."