Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Journey Home: Un-willed

Finally, finally, the day has arrived: I am allowed to move into the new house whenever I want to, and I want to right now!


Today has been a lesson in an uneasy, forced patience. I rushed home from work with images of moving in my unpacked boxes, my kitchen, the closets, even a few books, and hopefully the mattress, that I may at last, at last sleep there. I have been up since 4:30am in a frenzy of packing that is not really needed since I have not really unpacked. As I began lifting, pushing, lugging, pulling, I recognized that I would not be moving today: something has strained too hard in my back and I had to concede defeat.

Today, the sytem that betrays is within me; I have been betrayed by my own body, the primary house.

I have been forced into an inaction that refuses to negotiate with the large anxiety squatting in my throat. I await estimates, appointments that could help me cross the street. I sit supine, once again, unable.

I have heard of, read about incredible feats accomplished by a mere will to have it so. I wonder that my will is not propelled by a wind strong enough to cross this street. If the body is the first home, and it fails, where does one go to get a will strong enough to supercede the body's decisions?

I suppose it IS the mind that puzzles the will and makes cowards of us all: I know that once I do move, I will be faced with the gargantuan task of unpacking, something for which I have had reasons and excuses plenty to evade. What awaits me after I move is a great deal of sorting, building, more appointments, estimates, and the insurmountable charge for finding a place for all that must not be misplaced. I will spend most of my nerves and patience trying to hold on to myself as a feline war rages constantly, an inevitable accompaniment of changing living spaces while sharing life with cats, the plural deliberate.

Is that what my body is trying to remind me, as I watch all the cats busy with their individual meals in personally chosen corners? This truce among the cats has been expensively won. And it would be so much easier to chase the pain away with some ibuprofen, to lose anxiety in dreams of strategizing for better truces in better spaces, to easily solve all the heartache with the mind, since it seems to have all solutions. It would be so much easier to just internalize this landscape, get absolutely and irrevocably used to this not-mine space, with its boxes, the single book shelf, the slightly ashy mattress and the unassuming table, the bulk of all that must be moved.

The late evening rains beat urgently on the panes and doors, and the insistent wind weaves through the street that needs to be crossed. When I open the door to let the cats in, I see the new house waiting, its windows dark with night, all lamps doused, and I wonder what it must dream of, what truces it must resolve in its sleep.



  1. First, I am so sorry that this process continues to take longer than you would like.

    But you've got great thoughts here, great ideas. I see a future full of poems, full of short stories, all rooted in this process.

    And later, when you can stand it, I'm hoping you'll create a memoir or some work of non-fiction: Lessons from the Year of the Burnt House.

    1. Thank you, Kristin. As always, I thank you for your kind words and kind eyes! I am not sure if poems and stories lurk in here, and if they do decide to take corporeal form, that harvest should rightfully belong to you, for having recognized it in the first place!

  2. Well, fighter that you are, made you withstand the rough patch. I can not agree more with Kristin, that you are a great writer. You may want to pursue writing as your profession.

  3. Why thank you! if only I'd get enough to pay my mortgage and health insurance, I would like nothing more!

  4. I am sorry that you had to suffer physical pain that caused you more anguish than what you deserved. But you are a strong girl will fight physical and emotional upheavals with courage and succeed in your fight. I agree with Kristen that you should write a memoire of your experience with the burnt house. I am sure once you settle down in your house something good will definitely come out of your pen. Your earlier writings on the subject have been beautiful and painful too.


There was an error in this gadget