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Thursday, April 27, 2006

The Past

just ran over me today with its rough, heavy hooves. I spoke with a realtor. I'm selling my house.

In order to get to my house, turn off Highway Nine at the Bigfoot Discovery Museumand go up a steep hill, then turn left at the pink flowering dogwood. Follow the curve of the road as it narrows to the top. Just over the crest you have to drive slowly because there's an old black dog who sleeps in the road. The road is filled with potholes here. Then you descend another hill, at the bottom of which you make a hairpin turn. From here on out, the road is no longer paved.

From the dirt road you can see the red roof of my house, with its funny metal vent, the skylights, the chimney-pipe. My house is dwarfed by giant redwoods. I painted my house dark green, with red trim. The plants in the garden are now twice as tall as me and covered in flowers. Inside my house there's a dark blue woodstove to keep the place warm, a built-in desk, a stainless steel kitchen. Someone will buy this house, but will they realize its beauty?

A house is more than a house. For instance, there's a dog. She loves to play with the neighbor's dog. It's her house, too. This is a picture of a trail in the park down the street where I used to walk her. I don't know what will happen to her.

Nor do I know what will happen to the man who currently lives in the house. I've told him to get his hair cut. I used to cut his hair on the deck, which is half as big as the house. I've asked him to spend lots of time with his mother instead of staying alone in the house. I've told him to for god sakes treat himself with love, to allow himself to be sad, and to for once in his life ask for help when he needs it.

Over the last year I've tried very hard to let go of the past by actively distancing myself from the house and everything inside of it, animate and inanimate. Today, however, I allowed myself to remember some of the good things, and this was devastating. I hope that's okay. I hope it's okay to be filled with grief and concern. I hope the realtors understood why I was rude to them, and abrupt. There's no way to sell the house I loved in and lived in without trying, with all my might, to detach, and the only way for me to detach from love is to deny my feelings. Until they catch up with me and run me down.

Goodbye, house-in-the-mountains.


Blogger AndyW said...

We never realize how much of us is tied to where we live. I thought it would be easy to sell the house we lived in only 18 months when we moved from Chicago to St. Louis in 1999.

It went fine until the last day we were there. Then the tears flowed. We were only there 18 months but it was our first two childrens first home. It was the place where our daughter learned to walk. The place where our son learned to crawl.

It hurt!

7:46 AM

Blogger ginab said...

Man (woman!) you must know I actually do know what it means to up and split and put it all, including the atlantic ocean, between me and it. I'm trying not to say something stupid or empty, because yeppers my pal Ing I love you.

There's moving on and in order to, well you know the addage. Is that right? Addage?

Realtors are used to short tones (by the way). They're usually in the middle of precisely what's happening now. It'll be okay. (I want to keep saying that to you: it's going to all be okay.)

Let's start with the haircut. He'll probably argue until he's blue that it's his hair.

The dog will find and deserves to find a good place.

Anyone would be nuts to not love that house ... and there i about cried on the h-word.


8:51 AM

Blogger Labbie said...

Ah, yes, the past... It creeps up and then jumps us, beating us down with doubts and remorse. Its most powerful weapon is the "What if?" There really is no way of fighting it, though. You can forgive, but you can't forget. You can forget, but you'd lose yourself. You can lose yourself, but the past would still exist.

The past is past, the Elders seemed to say.

Easier said than done.

2:37 PM

Blogger sage said...

"The past weighs like a nightmare on the brain of the living." a rough paraphased of Marx.

I don't know all the circumstances, but your house sounds wonderful and I'm sure someone will "discover" it and enjoy it.

3:43 PM

Blogger ticharu said...

That's a little devestating for all of us Ing.

5:29 PM

Blogger matty said...

This breaks my heart.

It is so easy to rationalize and say things like, "things happen for a reason." "it could be worse" "hang in there" ...but I've been there. We all experience things differently. But the pain and loss kill. And, I agree, you have to find a way to detach, but when it all catches up and crushes you -- well, I guess I think all we can do is allow it to happen. I think it might be the way the soul/heart "heals"

...but, I think, the most important thing is to remember that there will be many stops on this journey. Some are going to be full of fun and love and others will have more than a little bit of sadness, pain and misery --- but you've got push on. You can't give it up.

You've got to keep moving.

The house will sell.

He may or may not cut his hair.

He may or may not do as you advise.

You will find a new home.

You will make it your own.

You will find love that will bring you happiness, peace of mind and stability.

You will find yourself in a wonderful new phase of the journey. There is light shinning in at the end of this tunnel. Rainy season is over.

You will be ok. In fact, I think you will be better than ok. You will find independence, strength/wisdom you never knew you had and a more healthy kind of love.

You will move forward -- the transition may not be as lovely as you desire, but it will be filled with a grace of beauty that is your own.

You are going to be fine --- and happy. You just need to push on. We're all here for you.

12:07 AM

Blogger Le Chitelier said...

It is most certainly okay to feel grief and concern. You must allow yourself to feel an emotion before you can move past it. I too know the grief of losing a home.

11:47 PM

Blogger lryicsgrl said...

Heartbreaking & eloquent. You have clarity, Ing. And yes, it is okay to feel and ok to detach, I think so.

4:30 PM

Blogger lryicsgrl said...

This is true, really. I was humming the tune, Alfie. You know, "what's it all about, Alfie, is it just for the moment we live....." as I was writing my comment, because the words just kinda came to me, as I'm thinking what is it all about?? Then I noticed that the word vert was "iifie".
So, if there is a lesson in these lyrics.......

4:34 PM

Blogger lryicsgrl said...

Whats it all about, alfie?
Is it just for the moment we live?
What's it all about when you sort it
Out, alfie?
Are we meant to take more than we give
Or are we meant to be kind?
And if only fools are kind, alfie,
Then I guess it's wise to be cruel.
And if life belongs only to the strong,
What will you lend on an old golden
As sure as I believe there's a heaven
Above, alfie,
I know there's something much more,
Something even non-believers can
Believe in.
I believe in love, alfie.
Without true love we just exist, alfie.
Until you find the love you've missed
You're nothing, alfie.
When you walk let your heart lead the
And you'll find love any day, alfie,

So, there you have it, Ing, words of wisdom from Burt Bacharach. Who knew?

4:38 PM

Blogger jungle jane said...

Awww Ing. that sound of shattering glass was my heart breaking for you.

I'm so sorry my friend - i truly am.

10:47 PM

Blogger Me said...

It's eerie and enlightening and fascinating and sad and a million other things all rolled into one when the past leaks into your present like that. Memories are good things to wallow around in for a while. You just have to remember to get out and shake yourself off.

10:43 PM

Anonymous Ofelia Bertrand said...

I know the moment that your house was sold must’ve been a bittersweet moment for you. You’re right – a house is more than just a house. It held more than just memories for you. I’m sure you’ve since built new memories in your new home. I hope that your old house didn’t take too long to be sold, and that the new owner loves that house as much as you do.

12:25 PM


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