Monday, June 15, 2009


We met the new renter today, at least one fifth to one third of the renters ( husband, wife and son will be at the house year-round and college age daughter and son will visit throughout the year). Stu came bouncing up the driveway, unfazed by the piles of detritus in the yard, the garage crammed in every corner with unimpressive junk, boxes open and overflowing in every room. It was clear that he empathized with our struggles, he and his wife having started the process of 'dejunkifying' their home in Connecticut. He wanted to be sure there was enough room in the our home for his furniture and belongings. I think we almost passed the examination, but there is some concern that if there is not enough room because we have left too much behind, that we will be expected to provide them with a storage unit!

Tonight will be an allnighter as we pack up enough so the movers can do their job tomorrow. Eric is out now discussing writing a book about Ecuador with Carlos, who was a Woodrow Wilson Center scholar in DC for a year and is returning to Quito tomorrow. Carlos is a sociologist and I am not entirely sure what the book project is, but I will likely find out soon enough since I expect to be involved in the process in some way. Eric has proposed several book projects. At first my role was to photograph for the books. I am an amateur photographer and not good enough to photograph for a book, but I will be happy to take photographs and perhaps one out of three thousand will be worthy. I will offer my services as editor perhaps, I can certainly read and critique and perhaps make suggestions. Eric has so many ideas and proposals and plans for his year in Ecuador. From a research station in the jungle to the books to exchange programs with students...I imagine reality will bring one or two to fruition, and after a year, Eric will have to plan for a second sabbatical and then a third and a fourth. I wonder if part of my purpose in Eucador will be to ensure that his projects move forward. Eric dreams and has great ideas, I am a doer, I get things done. But during my year in Ecuador I don't necessarily want to be a 'doer', I want to leave that part of me behind for the year while I live and absorb and feel the experience. I have stopped telling people what I plan to do while away. I am working daily to stop 'doing', to close down the practice and the projects and the house, to wind down my life. I do not want to 'crank' it up for the next year, perhaps not ever.

I have been so worried about my purpose in Ecuador, but I am letting go of the need to perform and to accomplish. I am more and more comfortable about just 'being' and living my life without a profession and a job to go to and perform at ( and it has been a struggle to let go of the roles that define me). I am finally feeling free and calm about moving forward without a plan. It is an odd feeling to be an 'aide', a supporter without my own kingdom. My purpose is to support Eric, to make sure things happen as he plans, to support Maya and her adjustment to her new environment, to be sure that Tara is safe while she asserts her independence in a new world. And to figure out who I am outside of my 'box'. I am fearful that I may discover that I will disappear and be nothing without my job, my house, my role, my income, my position, my usual purpose.

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