Home at last

For the last two months ive been living in a construction zone. You’ve shared the story of the reconstruction of my camper and my life and youve been so uplifting to me. The new is….

I’ve finished the other end. The end I had to reframe. Here it is.

Its bigger than the place I had been sleeping for the last two months, and I have my breakfast nook and table now.

The whole place seems bigger. There is all kinds of storage space for my books and dishes and food. It was such a joy to have someplace to sit and write tonight instead of going to a restaurant like Arbys. Such a joy to play music and sit comfortably and write, and read. I also found my Himalayan salt lamp, which casts a warm glow through thr whole place.

This is my home. It is insulated properly. All the dead wood is gone, replaced by new 2 x2 studs. It has new curtains and as I go along it will have new rugs, new wall hangings, and continue to change along with me. It is the first home I’ve ever owned.

I love my tiny home and I live in the best place on earth.

I am really home. I am home within myself, I am whole within myself; I need no one, because I am complete inside myself, but choose to be involved in this thing called life.

Life is a wonderful thing. If we blink, we miss it. I go to the water and spend my days gazing at the vastness of it and know I am exactly where I am meant to be. I am blessed.

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Bridge to Eternity: Part Two

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(photo taken by me, 2014, Valentine, NE)

The clock ticked inexorably.  Even in her dreams Claire felt the passage of time.  In her dreams she was always searching in the dark for something that was just beyond her reach; in others people long dead came to visit her.   She welcomed their company; her house was empty, and the long nights sleep, when it came with its shadowy visitors, was a comfort.   She had spent much of her life in a restless sort of fashion, moving from place to place searching for that indescribable something—perhaps a sense of home—that was always beyond her reach.  For twenty years her entire life had pivoted around one fateful decision—moving away.   Going home, perhaps, was an attempt to rectify the past, even though the present had changed forever.  And anyway, she mused, one place was much like another these days.   Being alone had become such a way of life that she had long ago stopped trying to change it; a string of failed relationships haunted her; or perhaps more to the point, her failure at love haunted her–and the years spun themselves out behind her effortlessly, it seemed while she watched all the people she knew marry, she felt she was a bystander while the carousel of life spun around her.

    At last she saw the lights of the Duluth hill draw towards her.  What she would do once she got home she had no idea.   She only knew that home was what she wanted; her heart ached for it, and she could not imagine what it had been in her youth that had called her away for so long.

She could no longer outrun the grief as she could no longer outrun the love that had followed her around the world for the last twenty years, outlasted a marriage, and went on still.  

   Claire pulled into town, and turned slowly into the parking lot of a motel.  Wearily, she got out of the truck, grabbed her bag, checked in, and fell into a dreamless sleep.  She did not feel the weight on the bed beside her, nor the hand that softly stroked her hair.  Even if she had, she would not have seen her gentle visitor.  Because everyone knows when you die, you disappear.

 

A Bridge to Eternity: A serial story for Halloween–enjoy! Part 1

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There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.
Hamlet Act 1, scene 5, 159–167

And now abideth faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
1 Corinthians 13:13

Love is stronger than death
1995

The day he died spring was unfolding gently on the face of the earth; leaves unfolding from the trees in the kind of new green that erases all thought of the deadness of winter. It seemed a contradiction of the life springing all around her that he should be dead, he so full of life, life that left him in the night while the world slept, left quietly, with no trace that he had ever walked in the green grass under the leaves of the trees in springtime. There, then gone. A blink. She reeled. The world seemed topsy-turvy –all at once vertigo hit her and screams erupted from her that seemed to come from hell and tear apart eternity.
It could have been that he stood next to her, that screams of grief can indeed rip the fabric of all we know, to filter into what lies parallel, to lie at the feet of those we cannot see.
Days later, she was travelling north, to the place she had not been since she was very young, car packed to the gills with the meager possessions she held dear. She had left her husband behind, suddenly seeing past the veneer of the life she had gone on to. None of it was real; she had been playing the part orchestrated for her by expectation. She had not loved the one she married; in the face of death, she suddenly saw what had been real and what had not. This grief was the only real thing in her life now; travelling up Highway 53, inexorably drawn north, to her lake, to the cries of gulls wheeling and dipping atop white capped waves.
Having left all she had behind, all that existed is what lay before; to start again, or not, the way before was as tangled as her hair blown by the wind, and she did not know what to unravel first. She drove on, the mile markers whizzing past counting down the miles until she would have to face herself and death, finality, nothingness.
She did not love the one she married, she who prided herself on verity, on living true, on never being deceiving, to find she had been playing a part cut deeply, and guilt oozed from every pore. What kind of person was she, she wondered to herself, to have lived with a man she did not love? Was she that lonely, that desperate, that faithless? That stupid? While distance to home closed, the distance in her heart widened to an unfathomable abyss.
She had gone on. She had accepted long ago that it would never be, she had flown round the world; running, really, from this thing that had sneaked up on her, and was too big to reach around, this love, she too young, he too old, the distance that was really no distance at all.
He sat next to her in the car looking out the window, feeling her pain and bewilderment, like knives. He reached across and touched the hand that lay in her lap, to let her know he was there.
She felt something on her hand, a sort of energy that felt like static electricity. The sensation made her jerk her hand back up to the steering wheel, and it also made her think of him. There was no way, of course, no way. He was just…gone. That was all. When you’re dead, you’re dead, she thought, you disappear. A tear slipped down her cheek.
Remembering Rilke, and feeling the keenness of her doubt, feeling invisible, he recited softly, How shall I hold on to my soul, so that it does not touch yours?
Still driving, the cab dimly lit by the green dash light, she found herself reciting aloud the final line How shall I lift it gently up over you on to other things? She realized that perhaps, even, with this death, that she had stopped believing in God. Perhaps now, she believed in nothing. There was only emptiness, and the sky above contained no God, only stars, and atmosphere, and more empty space beyond. What was there, she mused, to have faith in, exactly?
Then, seeing the lights on the hill ahead of her, she resolved to find out what “moving on” would come to mean. Lifting my soul gently up over you on to other things. She didn’t know why that line had gone through her head. She thought about what it meant. Forgetting, she supposed. Forgetting, wound healing, scabbing over, another layer of stone, a hardening. And that was the very thing she did not want most in all of the world. She did not want to forget . Forgetting would mean he meant nothing to her at all if she could forget him in the healing. No, she would not heal if forgetting would be the result. Her mind went back to the unanswerable question: what happens when you die?” Becoming angry at the question she opened the window, turned up the rock music on the radio, and forced herself back to reality. He was gone, that was all.
Sighing, sensing the wall between them, he wished to leave the car, and suddenly he was not there, but sitting along the shores of the great inland sea, wondering if he would ever be able to move on without her.

(part 2 tomorrow, then weekly from here!)   If you like it please feel free to comment!  I need help finding a better title so if you have suggestions please comment!