Monday, August 27, 2007

one piece of used furniture at a time

Well, you've seen the video. This place was as empty as a school cafeteria at midnight when we moved in, and we didn't bring a single piece of furniture with us--not even Callan's bathroom stool. It has now been a week and a half since I moved, and a week since Melissa and Nolan arrived, and we have just about everything we need. In no particular order, here is what we've purchased for the apartment, not including food.

Computer Desk*
floor rug
book shelf*
book shelf*
book shelf*
plastic toy shelf*
tall boy dresser*
child's dresser*
bathroom pantry/towel cabinet
futon frame
cot and extra pad
floor lamp
stand fan
box fan
window mount air conditioner
pots and pans
dish drainer
kitchen rug
baby booster seat
wobbly kitchen table*
angle brackets for wobbly kitchen table
four dining chairs*
two folding chairs
garbage cans
toilet brush
etc. etc. etc.

*indicates used items
red indicates items carried on top of our car.

With the furniture all in and the piles of unpacked stuff slowly shrinking, its starting to feel like a real home here. As I poured myself a bowl of cereal tonight into an unfamiliar bowl, and ate with an unfamiliar spoon at an unfamiliar table I had the bizarre sensation of being at someone else's home. I remarked to Melissa that our decision to celebrate our five year anniversary by selling everything and moving across the country seemed on the outside a bit crazy. But the alternative (keeping everything we have and driving across the country) would have been insane.

On a different note...

Tonight Melissa and I watched a bit from Cirque du Soleil (for those of you who, like me, were raised during the phonics era of public education, that's SIRK DAY SO-LAY.) To say nothing of the French proclivity for superfluous letters, we were amazed at the limits to which performers can push their own bodies. The on-stage phantasmagoria of dance, music, acrobatics, and old fashion circus clowning was enough to make me break out into spontaneous applause right in the middle of my living room, only to pause and glance sideways at Melissa long enough to feel fairly silly. The clapping would have been natural had we been attending the live performance, and even at the end of a particularly evocative movie clapping feels perfectly appropriate, but somehow, sitting with my wife in my living room, in front of our computer screen, it was just silly.

When, in 2006, BYU quarterback John beck, sprinting towards the sidelines to avoid the oncoming defense, threw a 20 yard touch down pass behind him, across his chest and into the waiting arms of Johnny Harline to win the big rivalry game against Utah, I screamed liked I'd just won Powerball. I jumped up and down, clapped, high-fived everyone in the room, hugged my wife, and cheered again. "That was amazing!" I kept saying, like the people around me didn't believe me and I had to prove it to them.

That was a football game. Just a sport, only art in the broadest sense, evocative for the social implications of communal victory, bragging rights, and the collective relief that "we" had beaten Utah. More than accepted, my reaction, and the reaction of the people in the room with me was expected, even dictated by our culture. That is how we are supposed to act during a footbal game. But the BYU football team on our TV could no more hear our un-containable exuberance than could the Cirque Dancers on my computer monitor hear my momentary spasm of applause.

Wordsworth described poetry as a "spontaneous overflow of powerful emotion recollected in tranquility." The poet alone is capable of the tranquil recollection, but all of us, perhaps occasionaly while watching performances like Circque, or our football team, are capable of the spontaneous overflow Wordsworth called poetic. So perhaps my uncontrolled outburst was the seed bed for good poetry. Maybe underneath that response is the subtle urgings of the muse in my ear. Maybe there are songs waiting to leap from my chest in stanza after stanza of lyrical expression. Or maybe, I'm just a geek.


Thomas said...

dude, i KNEW you were holding back in Elder's Quorum lessons you taught.

i'm disappointed you never brought out the big guns like this post when you were teaching us...

glad to see y'all made it okay.

jake roi said...

Is it okay that I clapped in my office after a) watching the youtube post, and b) reading your ending paragraph? No one saw me - so it is okay right?

We miss you guys already, but love keeping in touch with what you're doing via your blog. Keep 'em coming.

Chris and Kar said...

so glad you guys made it safe and sound! we'll be checking this for updates and wishing you the BEST of luck out there! we miss ya already!

~cari~ said...

Ditto to all that's been said! Take care!