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How do you say goodbye?

It’s not easy, especially when it’s a person, pet or place we love.

This week, I had to say goodbye to my sweet two-room basement studio, a place that’s been a creative haven for me and my students. As I’m now retired, my claim to the space is shaky, especially as the house is needed for more faculty offices.

So Alan and I spent two days clearing out the studio. I sorted, boxed, threw out and cleaned, while Alan did the heavy lifting. It’s amazing how much stuff I had accumulated over six years.

That’s the one good thing about leaving the space: I went through everything, sorting out what I really wanted and throwing out the rest.

So how do I say goodbye to a place of such personal and communal learning and creativity? Apart from leaving it clean and empty, the garbage gathered in six large black bags, I left one piece of art on the pin board: a silk painting of three owls. Underneath the owls I wrote, “This is a sacred space” as a way to honor what the basement studio provided for me.

Before I left, I thanked each room for being there, for supporting me, for nurturing my creativity. I’m still mourning this loss. try to remember that a closed door often steers us to some new opportunity; easier to say than believe as the door is shutting behind me.

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