I tend to take my time about moving in. It drives my sweetheart crazy. She grabs the mat knife as soon as she sees packing tape. Me, I like to live with the space a little before I decide what to do with it. I think it sometimes gives people the impression that I haven’t actually arrived. I get the technology connected, find a surface for sitting on and a surface for writing on, and let everything else fall where it may for a while. Sometimes the while is short, sometimes a little longer. I guess it might look as though I’m unenthusiastic (mostly I’m distracted by more interesting things than unpacking) but there’s more to it.

When I was in college, there were sidewalks, and then there were the places people walked. If you took an overhead photograph of the Bald Spot (it was Minnesota. Grass didn’t stand much of a chance.) you’d see a cobweb of packed dirt crossing and re-crossing the space originally intended only for frisbee and ice hockey and stargazing. It seems pretty natural for people to walk directly to their destination, unhampered by the presence of concrete somewhere else. Apparently some schools noticed this phenomenon and plant grass on the whole campus, wait a year, see where the paths are–and then they pave.

I think of my moving process the same way. Wait a bit. See where I actually walk when I enter a room; see where I actually put my books…then arrange the bookcases accordingly. See if I bring in a coat. See where I might like to put it. See if I have meetings, or guests, or visitors.

My new office has two doors, one to the entryway of the church and one to the sanctuary. It has a custom-fitted bookcase that only fits on one wall. I will live with these arrangements for a while, see how things are going, and then probably change them. I prefer to look out the window while I work; I would like two guest chairs that don’t feel separated from each other; I would like to keep some of my professional library here.
For now, I will plant grass,
and I will watch.

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