Bouncing Around the World

Want to know why I haven't blogged in over a week? Well, it has to do with the fact that I've moved!

In my 42 years of life, I’ve lived in 20 different houses and apartments. I don’t know what my friends think of this. It must be a little frustrating when it’s time for them to send Christmas cards, and sometimes I wonder if they think it’s strange. The longest I’ve lived anywhere in my adult life is five years when I lived in a tiny cabin in the forests above Los Angeles, looking down on the city. That was probably my favorite place to live followed closely by London.

I’m not really attached to places, but new experiences always excite me. I love to do new things and see the world and life from a new perspective. Luckily, my wife is the same way.

So this week we’re making another dramatic move. Currently, we live in a five bedroom house in an inland suburb of Los Angeles. It’s a nice house close to the college where I teach, and I love the neighbors. We’ve filled the place with friends and parties and even some poetry readings in the livingroom. But now we’re moving to a studio apartment near the beach.

We sat down and talked about what is important to our lives and this is what we’ve come up with: writing, art, friends, travel, and most especially each other, and we’re going to try an experiment that lasts at least one year.

It has to last that long because we’ve signed a lease.

Here is the experiment: we’re going to remove all distractions from our lives. We’re going to simplify our world, and we’re going to see how this affects our art -- my writing and her visual arts.

So often those niggling concerns get in the way of the things that we need to do. Instead of writing, I mow the lawn. I never use the lawn, and I don’t have children who play on the lawn, but there it sits, sucking up water and our time. Ann cleans rooms that no one uses. It’s nice to have a guest room, but it would be cheaper for us to put up friends at a hotel, and Ann could be doing something she loves instead of dusting a knick-knack for a visitor to enjoy.

We’ve had people tell us that we’re going to drive each other crazy living in such close quarters. Maybe, but I doubt it. We generally follow each other from room to room anyway. We work together and at the same time. We relax together. We play together. I think this is going to be exactly what we want.

For a year at least.

A year from now, who knows? Maybe we’ll want to move downtown. And writing this, something inside of me has been intrigued. I’m thinking about a little apartment right next to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. It’d be interesting to take in all that culture. Ah, well, I have a year to think about it.