This morning we're driving to Provincetown. It's a pretty glorious trip: first to Sag Harbor, then over a tiny ferry to Shelter Island, then across that green isle to a slightly longer ferry to Greenport, and then a drive to Orient Point. From there, it's an hour or so on our third ferry to New London. Then things get a little less romantic, as we take 95 to southern Massachusetts, then the Bourne Bridge onto the Cape. Ah.
We're cleaning out our storage unit in Truro. Tomorrow, quite early, a mover will meet us there, load everything up, and then the somewhat distilled accumulation of 15 years in Provincetown will arrive in the Springs. Books, a bunch of sweetly bad old landscape paintings, my majolica collection, probably a little too much of the old painted New England furniture I love: an apple-green jelly cupboard Wally and I bought at an auction in a darker green Vermont field twenty years ago, a wonderful little blue wooden cabinet that I bought from my neighbor Frank on Pearl Street, an old red table with a page or so of 1920s fashion advertisements stuck to its finish for ninety years. Lots of boxes. In truth, I don't even remember what's in them, though I will when I open them. One of the repeated processes of moving is confrontation with memory: out of the box, which could contain practically anything, comes the evidence of a specific day, a particular person, a year. I don't mean to portray this as an occasion of glowing sentiment: it seems an experience made of equal parts of joy, startle, sadness, and the plain dumb-to-language experience of the strangeness of being in time.