Friday, August 17, 2012

Great moments in the process of moving.

All this week, I have been busy packing up my personal belongings for my imminent move to Toronto. Though I look forward to being in Toronto, I frankly despise the physical process of moving: from the initial phase of sorting and packing one's belonging to the final stage of unpacking everything and figuring out how to arrange it in a new place, moving is one long Via Dolorosa. Even so, the process of moving has its entertaining moments. One of these came about a couple of days ago, as I sought a book to fit into the one tiny empty space remaining in the box of missals and breviaries pictured here.

As I was looking for a book that would fit into that last little space, I came across this copy of Quotations from Chairman Mao Tse-Tung, given to me almost ten years ago by a college friend who studied abroad in China. Before leaving for Beijing, my friend asked me if there was anything he could bring back for me as a souvenir. In light of my interest in Cold War history, I asked for and received a copy of Mao's Little Red Book, which has sat quietly on my bookshelf for the last decade serving as an occasional conversation-starter.

Here is the Little Red Book nestled snugly in its box, serving as a very unlikely companion to my old Breviarium Romanum (which I previously mentioned here), two copies of the Jesuit Liber Devotionum, and assorted other books religious and liturgical.

At last the completed box, which currently sits by the door of my bedroom, temporarily sealed with packing tape, waiting for the drive to Toronto and eventual unpacking in my new digs.

Another of my tasks this week has been sorting through a few boxes that I brought from New York to Philadelphia three years ago and have largely neglected since. Going through the stuff in these boxes has been like opening up a personal time capsule, yielding discoveries like this Canon PowerShot S30 camera, which has an interesting story behind it.

When I was a novice, I served as house photographer, which meant that I was expected to take pictures at various community events and otherwise help to produce a visual chronicle of life at the novitiate. The PowerShot S30 was the official novitiate camera, at least until it very abruptly stopped working because of a problem with the lens mechanism. I checked with Canon and with some local camera shops and discovered that it would cost less to buy a new camera than to repair the old one, so the PowerShot S30 was retired. Though I assumed that the old camera had given up the ghost, I decided to take it with me when I moved to New York as a kind of souvenir. For the next six years, it sat undisturbed in this box.

Anyway, yesterday I came across the camera and wondered anew whether it could be made to work again. I pulled back the lens cover and, lo and behold, the camera came back to life!

Here is another shot of the now-functional PowerShot S30. I don't think I'll be using this camera very much in Toronto - I have a newer one that I'm very happy with - but I was cheered by its unexpected resurrection. Perhaps there is some kind of metaphor here, but I'll let you work that out for yourselves - in the meantime, I'm going to get back to packing. AMDG.


At 8/19/2012 2:34 PM, Blogger Michelle said...

Good luck with the packing and prayers for a smooth move (if not an enjoyable process).

I'm watching a similar event unfold here, as my oldest packs up to start at Georgetown. Down to the similarly eclectic set of books (but the Breviarium Romanum stays here, as 'tis my copy!)...

At 8/22/2012 11:15 PM, Blogger JMcD said...

Hi Joe,

We're already missing you at SJU! Best wishes during your move!


At 8/22/2012 11:16 PM, Blogger JMcD said...

Hi Joe,

We're already missing you at SJU!



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