Sunday, October 14, 2012

Journey Home: The Beginning

At last, at last, finally, I have crossed the street and can again call this house mine. My salvaged possessions perch at the edges of rooms trying to fit in with the sofas and bookcases and chairs my friends' generosity has adorned the empty floors with. I have comfortable seats, windows the cats routinely navigate through, a busy, crowded alter, my own victuals, even some fire extinguishers standing guard over the kitchen (where the fire had begun and the damage worst).

My soul-felt, heart-true gratitude goes out to the world at large, to the incredible support structure which I had not realised had grounded me so solidly, and to all powers and wishes that have enabled and culminated in this hour, on this seat, in a house that resounds with these languages, cadences, and rhythms, which does not belong as much to me as I do to it. I have known a self without this house and all it is, and I know her to be a lesser self; I feel as though I have acquired comfortable girth, the extra invisible limbs that connected me to walls and teacups and tables.

Today, the one image that hovers over this post is from John Donne's poetry, and I thank him for giving it. Of course, patient reader, I allude to the comparison between a pair of lovers and a pair of compasses that ends his "Valediction." Ever since the house fire last October, I have been rudderless, directionless, unable to stand upright, my fix'd foot broken. Today, the fix'd foot leans and hearkens, and even though sometimes it runs obliquely, it certainly makes my circle just, merely by being here, by standing so firmly.

It took me almost 11 months to cross the street, but now that it's done, I can't believe that I was displaced in this manner. I am thinking of a few lessons I've learned:

The first lesson I've learned is that nothing and no one is ague-proof. I should have spent a little more of my soul when I was Reading Lear. However, this comes with the realisation that one's being does not reside anywhere but within, and that the essential self is salvageable.

However, the most important thing that has happened is that I've seen the face of divinity in the deliberate kindness of people. This burning has changed every part of my internal being and compass and I shall always carry this fire within myself.

It is through these eyes that I consider this house I inhabit, that I am told is mine. However, it still doesn't recognize me and everything about the space is unfamiliar. I look for a space that can never be, like the house called Horizon, where I learned of my first self, the house that is no more. I look around me and without meaning or wanting to, I look for the house that is gone, but I only see it as a shadow behind these brand new walls, my salvaged books, the newly configured living spaces and I do see an extra shadow beneath them. I suppose the shadows are behind my eyes.

I must leave this seat now, continue my journey to distant spaces, for numinous goals I cannot yet imagine. I shall re-equip myself with my oars, texts like The Odyssey, Mahabharata and Ramayana, that tell of endless journeys that begin when the travellers reach what they remember as Home, lands that banish native beings, then call them back, and forever test their worthiness to perch on spaces that define them.

1 comment:

  1. I am happy that you are trying to settle down in your new house. Your craving for your old house may take some time to go. Enjoy the house that you as it has goodwill of all the humanity.