To be still, yet still moving

I moved recently — four whole doors down to another unit in my complex. It wasn’t ideal, but life rarely is. My roommates and I had hoped to move into a house — an eclectic one with a porch, a balcony, a big yard, tucked into the hills over Asheville, perhaps with a long driveway bridge.

We like to dream big.

Instead, we moved into a carbon copy layout with a couple extra rooms. No balcony.

Packing up my old place a few weeks ago, I felt like I’d eclipsed the end of an era. A year and a half ago, I moved to Asheville all by myself with no idea who or what awaited me. Other than a job — nothing. I’d never had my very own place before, and I took to decorating and making it my own, even changing my Couchsurfing profile to “Accepting Guests.”

I hosted dozens of people on Couchsurfing and many other loved ones over the last year and a half. Two of them even moved in with me. Everyone who slept over signed the guest bed. I also hung my massive road trip map on my living room wall — among the last two pieces I moved out of my old place into the new.

The map and the bed: the surfing and the hosting. Tangible signs of my affinity for wandering and stability.

I’m realizing more than ever that I need both in my life.

I recently came across a quote from someone named Do Hyun Choe. It translates my heart’s cry better than any other I’ve ever come across:

Stillness is what creates love,

Movement is what creates life,

To be still,

Yet still moving —

That is everything!

I’m still living in Asheville, just four doors down from where I used to live in Asheville. I’ll continue calling this city home until my lease runs out next summer, if not longer. That’s at least two and a half years in one city when it’s all said and done. Which is pretty good for me.

But my goal in life isn’t necessarily to live in one city forever.

Nor is it necessarily to wander the world forever.

It’s to do both. To wander and to stay. To discover and familiarize.

To visit and to host.

This week and next, I’m taking significant steps toward integrating this ever elusive both into my life — a decision that may certainly have ramifications for the rest of my life.

Stay tuned, friends.

  • Kevin Browne

    Yay Tom !!!

    Oh man, there’s that precious priceless couch ❤️

    • I’m covering your signature with my bulky body, Kevin, but rest assured it’s still on there!

  • naturgesetz

    Waiting with bated breath.

    • I encourage you to breathe. Breathing is good.

      • naturgesetz

        Good advice! Thanks. Now figuratively waiting with metaphorically bated proverbial breath.
        #StayinAlive — hopefully long enough to occupy that couch some night.

  • Tim Wright

    Good insights, thanks.