I am in the midst of packing. We are moving house on Saturday. My studio is two-thirds empty. The last of the books, art supplies, my Buddhist shrine will all get packed up today, and this room will be empty of me.
Our house is in organized chaos. Our cat hates this. Yesterday he could not settle. He walked from room to room, upset, unhappy, tail twitching. He does not like his ordered life put into disorder. He does not like random and he does not like surprises.
He finally laid on my blue fleece blanket on the back of the living room couch, determinedly facing out the window, so that he did not have to see the changes happening around him.
I am very much like my cat.
I am packing and moving because I need to, not because I want to. I am a nester and I like my nest undisturbed and predictable.
That is not today, or the rest of this week, or next week either. Although next week I will be focused on making a new nest, and that always feels better than taking apart the old nest.
I will adjust and I will be comfortable again. So will my cat.
I think it must be the ancient survival instinct part of my brain that does not like this kind of change. Changing where I live means moving into the unknown, and my ancient brain thinks this means unexpected dangers. This is life threatening, it keeps saying. No wonder I feel this constant level of anxiety running under what I am doing.
This is not helpful. The anxiety, I mean.
So I have music playing, the gently soothing lyrical kind. I look out the windows once in a while as I pack boxes. Pause and take in the perfect snowy Christmas card beauty out there right now. The sun has even come out and the sky has moved to winter blue. This is beauty.
I have my two strings of coloured lights plugged in and shining in my studio as I pack. They will be the last things to go into the last box, so that I can see and delight in their bright colours as I work. This is beauty.
I have paused to write, to settle and ground myself in my life at this moment, the organized chaos that it is right now, knowing it will change to order and flow once again. This, too, is beauty.
Beauty in change. This is a gift I did not expect to see. I should have known it. I am a creator. Creating is all about change, from one state to another. From chaos to beauty, or the other way around. One of my favourite artists, Norman Yates, said that disorder opens a space.
He is right.
And now I have more boxes to pack. And more space to create.