October 15, 2016 scottcjones 3Comments

Moving is exhausting, especially when you’re older, as I am now.

You have more tangible things to carry as you age—more crap, more junk, more history—and more intangible things, too.

I’m in the habit of getting rid of things now, instead of moving them. “Junking” is an exhilarating, soul-cleansing exercise. I put something in the dumpster and I think, That’s gone from my life now. Gone forever! Why the hell did I carry that around for all those years? What a damn fool I am!

But, like a soldier who loses a limb in battle, even when I throw things out or sell them on Craigslist, the ghosts of those things haunt me for awhile. I feel a tingle where the junked items used to be.

This morning, with 98-percent of my life in boxes, I found a magnet on my refrigerator—a magnet that I’d somehow been looking at without seeing for years.

It has the words of a Susan Polis Schutz poem written on it. Do you know Susan Polis Schutz? You might not know her consciously, but trust me, you know her words. The same way scientists claim that there is a spider within three feet of us at all times, a Susan Polis Schutz poem is within three feet of you—yes, you—at this very moment.

Schutz is a successful, ubiquitous greeting card-caliber poet. She does not skimp on the sentiment. She’s built a career out of saying the obvious.

My mother sent me the magnet.

Schutz’s poem on the magnet is titled TO MY AMAZING SON. It goes like this:


To see you happy

is what I always wished for you

Today I thought about your handsome face

and felt your excitement for life

and your genuine happiness

and I, as your mother burst with pride

as I realized that my dreams for you have come true

What an extraordinary person you have become

In the background is a body of water, an open sky at dawn, a couple of brown mountains. I popped the magnet off the refrigerator. The magnet itself was disappointingly weak, barely strong enough to hold it in place on the metal door.

I thought about my mother. She’s almost 70 now. Lives in Florida in a tiny apartment. I considered the sentiment on display. How bland, I thought. How completely anonymous, I thought. I felt the weight of the weak magnet in my hands. I looked at the brown mountains, the open sky at dawn. I tried to figure out what to do with this damn thing.

3 thoughts on “Moving Day 2016

  1. Thank you for sharing your stories – both the intensely personal, and the outrageously hilarious. Most of the time those two are blurred quite nicely. You’ll be missed in Vancouver. All the best in Toronto.

  2. hey.
    haven’t commented in a while.
    Just dropping a note here and wanted to mention how much i’ve grown to enjoy your short blogs. i’m sure it effects more than myself all of whom do no comment. thank you.

  3. I feel the same way about all that stuff, greeting cards are just the worst, its like a contest to see who can cram the most most clichés per square inch. Also, when people have live, laugh, love on a wall in their house, I have to fight the urge to punch them.

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