Sunday, February 28, 2010


Yesterday was a hard day of wrestling with decisions which are coming at me thick and fast as the interior finishing of the house proceeds. My decision making process is glacial. It took me 10 years to decide to build a house, and that only happened because both the designer and the builder said they were ready to do it, and I thought such a configuration of agreement surely indicated that the time was right. Nonetheless during my episode of Transient Global Amnesia(wherein you forget the recent past), my daughter asked me if I remembered I was building a house and I replied, "Why would I do that?"

The decisions have been crowding me. When I have something to decide and the issue is before my mind's eye, I usually let it stay there, like an actor on the stage playing it's part, looking one way and another, showing this emotion and that one, until I tire and send the issue back into the wings. It's really rather enjoyable when there are not time constraints. When the curtain goes up again on that issue, it comes back out, struts around and acts until I know everything it's got, and then it's easy to incorporate it into my life.

But with the house, the decisions are waiting in the wings while two or three of them are pushing to get out on the stage and sometimes elbowing each other out of the way, and I really don't have time to order them back into the wings so that I can slowly study their progression on stage. It's crazy making for me. I chose colors for the walls, having wobbled about just opting for white and living with it for a while before deciding color, but I'm 71!!!! The way I decide things, I would be finally painting at about 90. So I chose with some guidance and input from others, and somehow ended up with bright pink in one bedroom and the front room not quite as sage as I wanted. This sent me into a tailspin of despair. It is only a $60 mistake and can be easily redone, but my reaction was huge. All day I wrestled with it, reminding myself it was all right to make mistakes, all right to be upset, but the wrestling continued.

I finally resorted to what I call "enhanced" meditation and sat on the deck of the cabin in the sunlight, staring at the green meadow and the newly arrived robins and the wrestling stopped. It was a lovely cool spring day and I was happy. It was only then I could see that the mistaken colors had bled over into a new wound I had not yet acknowledged. The new house means I will be leaving the cabin, my home for 40 years. And I would be leaving behind the low close to the land, taoist cabin lifestyle, with its insect ridden corners, with the wind blown cracks, the old familar comforts and annoyances. It means leaving the view of the garden changing with the seasons, leaving the memories of lives lived here, the love making, the arguing, the baby growing to teen, the despair, the partying, the lonliness and sorrow of loss all of which the cabin held gently and warmly without comment or criticism. It has the walls and counters I built and the tables that Allan built, holes in the floor from moving stoves, waterbacks, kitchen sinks. It has the desk by the window where I have sat for so many various hours, staring, writing, touching down on the center of my truest self and where I sit now. There is no way to express the gratitude I feel for the life I have lived here, the solace this place has given me, nor the ache that leavingtaking brings.

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