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Though the span between our buildings is just 25 feet, I've never met the couple in the apartment across from mine. In the 12 years we've been neighbors, we've never exchanged a word, waved or even nodded. It's as though we agreed to an unwritten code of privacy for people living in adjacent high-rises.

Still, I know a lot about them: I know the hours they keep. I know he does most of the cooking. She reads books in the evening. He reads the paper in the morning. They go all-out hosting occasional dinner parties, complete with flowers, wine and candles. I know every February and March they leave town for a few weeks.

Last night, I noticed the walls had been stripped. Boxes were stacked everywhere, and I realized my long-time neighbors are moving. Since our connection is based entirely on what I've glimpsed through their windows, I'm surprised, -- maybe even shocked --  by how unsettled I feel about it.  

Time was, I'd rationalize the unsettled feelings away: "You don't even know their names." "It's not your business." "You need to get back to work."

These days, I stay curious. As we bring conscious awareness to emotions as they arise, the payoffs can be rich. For instance, in my unsettledness, I'm discovering: appreciation for the profound sense of comfort and security we derive from the most subtle human interactions; compassion for self and others navigating loss and grief; a deeper understanding of the complex dynamics involved in change; anticipation for a new experience of new neighbors.

May any unsettledness you experience be a doorway to the rich payoffs awaiting you in the unseen realm.  -- Rev. Kurt