grey damp day with edward tulane in shanghai
Today is a grey and damp day, the kind of day I think of when I think of Shanghai, since the first two-months-minus-five-days I was here it rained. Since arrival this time around, the weather has been lovely everyday, but being that this is my first Monday back to my quiet big city routine, it seems appropriate. I figured out how to use the washing machine, but time will tell if the clothes will dry. Fortunately I established many techniques for dealing with dampness in my first half year here.
Today I continue the process of moving stuff around and putting things away in the new place. I am sorting through the many mystery bags left by the apartment’s previous tenant–she clearly flew a lot, and a much higher class than I ever have. If you come to visit, I will have a toothbrush and tiny tube of toothpaste waiting for you.
In addition to the melancholy offered by the weather today, I find that setting up quietly in a new place often opens space for grief to appear. The placing of familiar objects, sorting through photographs, making home anew allows for anticipation, freshness, but also for grieving. I know this well enough, now, so I am going with it. I redeemed two audible.com credits today and have spent the morning and early afternoon tidying the kitchen, cooking lunch and prepping dinner, repotting plants, and unpacking while listening to The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, by Kate DiCamillo, and Blue Nights by Joan Didion. Could not go more perfectly with the day. (If you do not follow K.D. on facebook, I think you should.) I should add, as I would probably tell you in person, ever-so-provincially, “She is from Minnesota!” Here is an excerpt:
“Edward knew what it was like to say over and over again the names of those you had left behind. He knew what it was like to miss someone. And so he listened. And in his listening, his heart opened wide and then wider still.”
Wishing you a week full of love that cuts through smog.
P.S. In a couple hours, dog friend Skye begins his adventure to Shanghai! Send him good thoughts and sweet dreams of milk bones, please. We should see him, post-quarantine, on Halloween. See you soon, little buddy!