The trick is learning to take things as they come and fully, too, with no resistance or fear, not trying to grip them too tightly or make them bend.~Paula McLain (From Circling The Sun)
I yelled at him, my voice thin and high. I slammed my open hand on the table, my palm red, stinging. Then my husband yelled back, striking his hand on the table too. He has bigger hands, so it was loud. "I'm done," I shouted, and ran out of the room. We were fighting about ceilings, (of all things) after looking at houses to buy earlier that day. All I said was that I like high ceilings," I whined. "But you've got to understand, Priscilla, that warm air travels upward, and the utility bills will be higher; it's much better to have lower ceilings," he said. His voice was really, really noisy, as was mine.
Change is noisy, and it's not about the ceilings. It's about uncertainty, about ambiguity, about money, about compromise, about living with the opacity of where we'll settle next. It's about grief, too. Letting go of a home and life we've honed and developed for over a decade.
We peer into the windows, walk though the doors of homes where people still live. The baby's clothing hanging in the closet. The dog who stands in his kennel and softly barks. Who are these unknown people traisping through my territory? The garage stacked with bikes and tools and toys. How will they pack all this up? The pink sponge still wet in the sink. They rushed to clear the dishes so we could see their home. Could this be our home?
Place influences you, and change is inevitable. Maybe that's why we argue about ceilings.
Giovanni walks back to where I'm folding laundry. Turns towards me. Initiates quiet interaction after we've yelled at each other. I turn toward him. "Okay," he says, "Let's think about what our next steps are for tomorrow." We make our list. Try to stay in the present. Don't look too far ahead. Forget about the ceilings. Tolerate the noise.