Omnium Gatherum #68: Moving On Up
Welcome once again to the Omnium Gatherum.
First up, I have to apologize profusely to you folks for being away for so long. I don’t have any reasons that won’t sound like excuses. Besides some things I can’t talk about right now because I don’t want to jinx them.
One thing I can talk about is reflected by the subtitle for this installment.
Namely, yours truly is in the midst of moving. Everything at the Omnium Gatherum Ashram is in either in a state of being boxed up or is in complete disarray. It’s crazy and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
So, for the foreseeable future, this column will be even more erratic than usual.
What does that really mean?
One thing it means is that I still have three or four more San Diego Comic-Con 2010 features to write and submit. One in particular is taking a lot of thought and effort to finish up. Between work at Comics Ink, packing up the old apartment, new kittens, and other work and distractions, my poor little brain can only handle so much.
So what’s going to happen is the numbering of this column will go slightly out of sequence for a time as I catch up.
Another thing this change of venue means is I will try to review comics in smaller doses, in a catch as catch can manner. But part of the backlog from CCI are the reviews of books I picked up or were handed at the show. I haven’t forgotten about you folks, I assure you.
I hope this explains things.
If it does, then please repeat it back to me. I’m a bit lost amongst all of the boxes I’m packing, unpacking, and moving.
I posted this on my Facebook page but it bears repeating and expanding here.
The first day of the move found the trusty assistant and I cleaning up the empty apartment in preparation for the move. I mopped up hardwood floors and wiped down dirty walls in what now seems to be an empty effort to keep from having to paint. All of this while waiting for the arrival of the locksmith to change the locks on the front and back doors.
Hunger caught up to the trusty assistant first in the early afternoon. I wasn’t particularly hungry but the TA threatened to go on strike. Besides it was a warm day and the search for food gave me a chance to wander slightly through the new neighborhood.
I walked down the very busy for a Friday afternoon street of Crenshaw, with only my mirrored sunglasses as armor against the light. The heat was dissipating, pushed aside by the breeze flowing in from the beaches.
I made my way towards the unhealthy fast food row adjacent to the main shopping areas. My thoughts were only of moving and buying some food to keep going. I was on a timetable to get out of my old place and every moment spent not moving boxes was a wasted one.
As I headed down Crenshaw towards Century, I spied an older gentlemen walking in the opposite direction. He stood tall yet thin, not frail so much as weathered perhaps. He pushed a shopping cart as empty as a politician’s promise. It was because of this empty basket that I wasn’t sure if this gentleman was homeless or not. All I knew was our paths would cross, so I did what I usually do and made room on the sidewalk for this fellow pedestrian to pass safely. We approached each other at varying speeds. Just as I stood a few feet from him, the gentleman extended his hand towards mine in greeting. Not wanting to be unfriendly and seeing that this man wasn’t unwashed (should that have really mattered?) was this man not a fellow human being worthy of some respect at the very least?), I shook it. The hand was as bony as the rest of the man, the skin thin enough to show some of the bones themselves and leathery. Yet there was a strength there, speaking of a time when this man was vital and strong and full of potential.
The greeting ended and we both went our separate ways.
And that was how I chose to think of the encounter, as a greeting to my new neighborhood.
In the course of the moving of home and storage, I am realizing just how much stuff I’ve gathered over the years. I’m not just counting comics but books, CDs, DVDs, and other toys and the like. Whew!
One of the most interesting and difficult parts of my being a Buddhist is being faced with my own attachments.
Being a Buddhist doesn’t necessarily mean I have to go around in simple robes, begging for my survival. But it should be mean that I apply some awareness and wisdom to my actions.
I have a lot of stuff.
The challenge is to make sure the stuff doesn’t have me.
A difficult challenge to engage in when one is a comics collector where the possibility of being possessed by one’s possessions is very high.
The room that is now filled up with boxes of comics is a reminder and a warning I’m in danger of being owned by all of those comics. Yet there is joy in those boxes, stories and characters old and new, that have dear places in my heart.
I guess I have more work on myself to do.
I’m going to keep it short and sweet this time out, folks. It’s all about getting back into rhythm.
See y’all soon.