downsizing; latvian style

So, we’re going from a two room apartment in Manhattan, to a five room apartment in Rīga, and I don’t think this is what I actually had invisioned when I talked about “downsizing.” I’m downsizing Latvian style.

I’m apprehensively ecstatic, tilting from giddy to disbelieving and back to giddy as quickly as the weather here changes. I’m wondering if I can manage, or if, like a friend said, “you’ve got this.” Do I? all I know is, I’m facing down the glory of the unmanageable.

This past year, especially since Covid, many of us have felt the need to act on some long held “ideas” about quality vs. quantity, things vs. experiences, and what it is we want vs. what we really need. And so we read posts about throwing stuff away, cutting ties to people whom it no longer make sense to be tied, and organizing closets… 

When in doubt, clean a closet. 

It always works. While your depression might not be magically erradicated, the mere fact that you can see what you own, seems to make life more manageable. And just having things be manageable, has been a standard for years now. But could unmanageable be better? 

Unmanageable is the place we go when we bite of more than we can chew, when we didn’t do our homework, and when the world just overwhelms us with its infinite capacity to fuck things up. It’s also that “edge” everyone’s always talking about, the pushing the boundaries place where we’re in doubt about our abilities, again.

Then too it’s the place we go to dig deep within ourselves, and when we don’t come up with anything, to ask for help. Not really a bad place to be.

Photo: Sabine

Done, moved, above one of the five rooms. A week ago, nothing here was known to me. Today, I’m sitting at a kitchen table, in an “eat-in” kitchen, looking out on this. It all seems strangely familiar, or am I just a chameleon, able to “blend in,” to become part of the scenery? Yes, and no.

I believe that sticking out is the way to go, even if blending in feels more manageable. Because who really just wants to manage

And blending in can eventually choke you.

So what am I going to do with five rooms? Well, like I wrote in my last post, we have no closets here in Latvia. So to start, one of the smaller rooms, adjacent our bedroom, is going to be a sort of garderobe, a dressing room.

Photo: Sabine

And suddenly I can’t imagine how I ever lived without one? Should I show you what I “do” with these spaces? 

I love this “Botero” lady I saw last week at the beach. (Remember, Botero is the Columbian artist I quoted here.) She looks so comfortable, so self-assured. The pose is marvelous, the flesh is fulsome, and her skin like silk.  


“Women should not allow themselves be caught up in the hype that says performance, meaning the motions, is what matters.”

—Kamala Harris




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