catelin: (Default)
( Apr. 11th, 2008 09:52 am)
Everything is fine, benign. Huge sigh of relief for me. Thanks for all the kind thoughts and good energy. I am certain it played a big part.
catelin: (cowgirl)
( Apr. 8th, 2008 07:59 am)
In a not surprising synchronicity with the sun, [personal profile] notwolf , I am trying to grasp the crazy-quilt universal weave of good/bad/ugly that life can sometimes be.  Biopsy today, needles in my left breast and holding my breath for two days to see what comes next.  Otherwise, my life if full of sunflowers, gardening, work, my beautiful children and my beloved.  He's here, for the most part, with some loose ends to tie up but we are laying our heads down together each night and smiling at one another each morning.  So this time, I'm refusing to give in to my fear of the other shoe...you know, the one with dog shit on the sole that drops as you merrily roll along?  I worked too hard to come to this happiness and I will not let it go without a bloody fight.  I am living proof that love can make a person fearless--not because of him but because of the journey and experiences that brought me to him.  He made sense of those.  He made sense of everything, even what I could not.  So I may hold his hand a little tighter when I close my eyes for the next couple of days, but I will not let go of the certainty that I am finally and exactly where I need to be.
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I'll be forty-four years old next Sunday. I don't know why, but every time I think of this birthday and its number I picture 44 blackbirds flying out of a pie. It's an odd age, 44...so close to 45 and 45 being almost fifty. Weird. I don't feel old. I do feel wise, after a fashion. And happy. Not even happy, so much more than happy. I am blissful.

I got a big promotion at work that came with a fancy schmancy new title. I have a new attorney working with me. Everyone is very happy with the change and feels like the cases are now being handled better. I think I did the right thing in accepting the position. I'm the Chief of the Family Justice Division. See? I told you it was fancy! It's still all the same Creeps & Perverts cases, but the name sounds so much more civilized.

In other news, my man gave me the best Valentine's day gift ever last month--a beautiful new sewing machine. It wasn't anything I was expecting, but it was more perfect than he could have ever imagined. It was the ultimate gift for a holiday marking love. Sewing, for me, is so connected to both of my grandmothers, how they loved me and how much they taught me. When I sit at a sewing machine and work, I can picture both of them sitting there next to me, heads nodding, both of them smiling at how much I can do now. It may seem silly that sitting at a sewing machine binds me to that wonderful universal light--call it love, grace, god, whatnot--but it does. It conjures every good thing I ever had in my life that is related to being loved and loving without reserve. I'd never talked about this with him, so it wasn't anything intentional. But whether happy accident or intuition, it was one of those sublime acts that struck such a heart chord in me that I wanted to melt. I sure do love him.

Last week we drove in a borrowed pick-up to the boonies south of San Antonio and picked up some wrought iron patio furniture. Next week we're heading out on a road trip to the bayou country of southern Louisiana for my birthday. Spring is going to be a season of all sorts of movement and travel, but home for both of us is becoming the little house here at the lake and that makes me grin like a kid.
catelin: (sculpture ranch)
( Feb. 9th, 2008 10:14 am)
Today is one of those days where nothing in particular is going on, but I just woke up with a feeling that all is right with my small corner of the world. I have two beautiful children, a man I adore who adores me right back, a house that I love, and more than enough animals to drive me crazy. When I was a little kid, I used to imagine how I would be as a grown-up. It was always me, living in a big city, being oh-so-sophisticated. I think I was never sophisticated. I don't know that I ever have been, even when I lived in the big city.

My youngest son told me a few weeks ago that I am a Type 6 Hippie. I had no idea what that was, much less that he'd been classifying hippies! According to my ten-year-old son, a Type 6 hippie is a punk rock hippie. He told my man that he was a Straight Up Hippie. Now I don't know how accurate this whole classification thing is, since he seems to think that everyone who lived in the eighties was a hippie, but it still cracked me up. I'm more than happy to be a Type 6 Hippie. I'm happy to live out in the boonies. I'm happy that my most valuable monetary asset is a badass comic book collection that I would never sell. I'm happy that I have made a crazy, completely unsophisticated life for myself and my kids that has room in it for art, learning, exploring, sharing, and--most of all--plenty of laughter.

Other Hippie Classifications, for your edification:

Type 1: "People who protest the Viet Nam War after it's over"
Type 2: "Nature people, like nature conservers and stuff like that"
Type 3: "Disco and Afro Hippies"



The Hippie Expert & Mom
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catelin: (glasses)
( Dec. 31st, 2007 03:04 pm)
Expect nothing. Live frugally on surprise.—Alice Walker

I have been thinking a lot the last few days about expectations and the nature of desire. I have long struggled with both concepts and sitting here on the edge of one year looking to another seems a good time to shake a few things out of my head.

I have always lived, as I guess most others have, fueled by varying mixtures of cynicism and hope. Even as I made my peace with what I could not or would not have in my life, I still always kept some secret little seeds of hope to myself. I could never bring myself to truly expect nothing. I did the next best thing. I learned to expect, for myself, very little. Note that I say for myself, not from myself. From myself, I expected everything. From myself, I expected the super human. From myself, I expected to never fail or be afraid. From myself, I expected to never be weak or let anything hurt me. From myself, I expected to be everything that those I loved ever needed or wanted me to be, with seamless perfection. This was my nature, cultivated from being one of those little Lebowski overachievers, performing feats of daring-do and wonder so the people I loved would not stop loving me.

I found my peace in learning to expect next to nothing from anyone or anything. It freed me from the disappointment of being let down by people or circumstances that were not what I’d happily but blindly perceived them to be. I had to do this because I took on each of these disappointments as my fault—as proof that I hadn’t been smart enough, pretty enough, or whatever enough in some way. The dulling of my desire for things made my day-to-day life much easier. I did manage quite well to live frugally on surprise. In fact, I was the frugal gourmet of surprise. My life has been, in so many ways, a lovely banquet crafted from all sorts of unexpected delicacies.

Still, I never brought the secret seeds to the table. I never showed those tiny bits and pieces of desires I had for myself, the things that I felt selfish for even daring to want at all. The crumbs were what I’d done without, what I’d never complained of missing—each full of such terrible wanting and fierce hopefulness. After I met my man the secret seeds grew into all sorts of unruly blossoms and vines. They escaped the confines of my inner heart and sprouted out of my mouth, swirling around my head and being given voice. He built a garden for me, from his own heart, and let all the things that I’d never had much of a place for in myself grow. I began to think that maybe it wasn’t such a bad thing…wanting. The first tentative steps I took toward believing that I could let myself desire something out loud transformed into joyful leaps and bounds of naming everything I wanted to have and do.

I’m sure the more experienced among you probably know what came next. While I was blissfully floating around giving voice to my desires, life intervened. People and circumstances turned out to be different than what I had blindly perceived them to be. I felt a little like Wiley E. Coyote hitting the bottom of the canyon. It hurt as much as I remember anything ever hurting. I cried and cried. I felt stupid. I told myself that I was such an idiot to ever think that I could have anything. I knew better than to expect anything. What could I have been thinking?

Everything that had taken root and bloomed in me over the last few months quickly began to wither. I prepared to collect the husks of my secret seeds so I could put them away again, probably for the last time. The keeper of the garden, however, held on to me. He refused to let me take my secret seeds back and he whispered to me at night to keep everything I’d grown alive. He whispered until I finally quit poisoning the garden and I began to contemplate the possibility that my hopes, even the most secret and delicate ones, might be able to survive outside of my own heart.

I am struggling to find a way to balance the things I have wanted for so long with the realities of the world. I am going to take small tentative steps again, and he’ll hold my hand as he has from the first time I knew I loved him, reminding me that I’m never far from my secret garden and he’ll be there to tend to things when I cannot.

I am going into a new year trying to be as brave as I’ve ever been. I will expect to be beloved and happy, I will expect to be disappointed and hurt, and I will expect to find my legs each and every time so I can brush myself off and move on to the next wondrous thing. I wish you all a brave new year and a crazy quilt garden grown from your own secret seeds.
catelin: (glasses)
( Dec. 24th, 2007 09:01 am)
Christmas Eve has always been the big part of the celebration for my family. My grandmother would make potato soup and we'd open our gifts. Santa would come in the morning to leave a few things, but we never counted on him for the big stuff...that was always family and the night before Christmas. After my grandmother died, even before I had kids, everything stopped. It became half-hearted. My mother doesn't even put up a tree anymore. My parents' lives center around their dogs and routine. I used to get so upset by this, but now I just accept it as the way they are and I don't worry about it. So here I am, in the shitty little oil field town I fled as soon as I graduated high school, in my parent's house-o-dogs, with my two boys. My brother is a guest of the state this year. No tree, no fanfare, only the bare bones of what remains of my family. And, oddly enough, that's just fine with me. I am peaceful and full of love for this strange tribe to which I belong. I am looking forward to soup and presents with the few of us as much as I ever did when we were a boisterous houseful. Because it's the intention that matters. Not theirs, but mine. So I come to the table tonight, blessed with all of the good things that I have in my life, and with the wonderful people I love and who love me in my heart. I am whole and content to be who I am, to be with the people who raised me, and with the two little guys I am sending out into the world one day. The heartstring of family, for all its fragile and delicate nature, has a strength to it that defies logic. That's where the magic lies, and I wish all of you a magical logic-defying holiday with the ones you love.
catelin: (Default)
( Dec. 7th, 2007 07:17 pm)
"I have come to believe over and over again, that what is most important to me must be spoken, made verbal and shared, even at the risk of having it bruised or misunderstood.... My silences had not protected me. Your silence will not protect you.... and while we wait in silence for that final luxury of fearlessness, the weight of that silence will choke us. The fact that we are here and that I speak these words is an attempt to break that silence and bridge some of those differences between us, for it is not difference which immobilizes us, but silence. And there are so many silences to be broken."
Audre Lorde


This is for my dear friend [livejournal.com profile] lacyunderall, one of the greatest silence breakers I have ever known. Warrior, artist, and all-around gorgeous badass.

Do yourself a favor and check out her work. I won't even go off on my rant about how important it is to support the creative members of our tribe, how giving the gift of original art has benefits to everyone involved, about how much I loathe the shopping megacorporatesuckmeplexes. I'll let Donna's absolutely beautiful artwork speak for itself and I'll hope that it speaks to you.

Happy birthday, Double D. I love you with super-powered-warm-yer-tummy love. You have made my life joyful by your presence in it and you have sustained me in ways that I will never be able to explain or repay. I am forever indebted to you and I am grateful to call you my friend.
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catelin: (greenwoman)
( Sep. 15th, 2007 09:54 am)
Your feet will bring you to where your heart is. –Irish proverb of which my grandmother was particularly fond.


I have been guarded about writing in specifics about my personal life for quite some time, as keeping a journal over several years will eventually embarrass the shit out of you when you look back at how earnest you were every time you thought something was a certain way only to find out you were mistaken. I’m not one for deleting or privatizing entries. I always leave them. Whether this is from a sense of duty to live my life as openly and honestly as I can or simply a way to secretly punish myself for the stupidities of my past, I cannot say. I like to think it’s the former, though. Still, I have learned to write about things in less concrete ways, so as not to risk committing myself to yet another publicly documented blunder. It's taken me a while to decide what I've wanted to say about this. Even when I decided I should say something, I wasn't sure how to express it in a way that would do it justice. But here goes...I’m going to write about this beautiful place to which my feet have brought me because I can't imagine not documenting the one time I've finally gotten it right.

Movement has been a theme in my life, in ways both big and small, since I was born. I come from a family of nomadic people, immigrants of both choice and necessity. I moved around a lot as a child, and I kept that movement going even as an adult. I would light in a place for a few years and then pick up and begin following the trail to something better again and again. Something better. I was always looking for that. I had love in my life, my two beautiful children, my friends, my family, my funky little house in the hill country. Even with all that, I was lonely. It sounds awful and selfish to say that, but it’s the truth. I had always grown up believing that there was a mate to my soul out there. The whole corny enchilada of lover/best friend/meant-to-be…I held tenaciously to my faith in his existence for years and years. And then, after years of “close but not quite” and especially after my divorce, I gave up on that notion for the most part and put it away.

I figured that maybe I was wrong, maybe there wasn’t really anything or anyone out there that could make a person feel universally answered and justified just by showing up and opening their arms. Even if there were such a thing, I thought, I’d missed it somehow. I was too old. I was simply going to have to be grateful for all the gifts I had in my life, which were no small thing by anyone’s estimation, and get on with living the best way that I knew how. I hated whiners, so I didn't want to be one. I would have to make my peace with being by myself. I knew I was up to the task. I’d always been a loner, from the time I was a child. Being by myself was a skill that the movement in my life had taught me. I was good at it. I was proficient at not needing anyone but myself, and it was something that I did even when I had lovers. I never let myself forget for a second that I was alone. I never felt “not alone” even when I was in love, and the movement drove me away from those loves because it was fed by that tiny but persistent desire for the silly, impossibly romantic enchilada.

Then, when I least expected it, he showed up and he opened his arms. I won’t write about him in specifics, as he is a much more private person than I am in all sorts of ways; but I will tell you that he is the person I was missing. What I have ever thought or written about love has suddenly become so small. Because it’s so much bigger than what I ever thought it could possibly be, and it makes so much more sense than I could have ever previously imagined. And I knew it from the second I looked at him and he looked at me. It was just like that. As goofy as it sounds, it was exactly like that. I knew that I would never leave him and that I would love him for the rest of my life. My dad asked me how I knew. I told him that, from the first time he’d held my hand, I’d never felt like I was by myself. It’s as simple and wonderful as that; the whole corny enchilada is real and infinite. So the movement in my life makes sense to me now, because it was always to this place where my heart is, to this place where his arms are open and he is smiling at me, to this place where he holds my hand and we always move together.
catelin: (kiss)
( Sep. 23rd, 2006 09:03 am)
I spent last night watching Water, the last of Deepa Mehta's element-inspired films. I still think Earth is my favorite. All three were visually stunning films. I love the color of them... flashes of brilliant orange, washes of cool blue, velvety mossy greens. I like movies that I can almost smell and taste; hers definitely have that quality to them. So I enjoyed this one almost as much as the others. The only thing that sort of soured it for me was the whole "give her to Ghandi" scene at the end. It left me rolling my eyes a bit, but the rest of the movie was good enough to make up for that. It was certainly the most Bollywood of the three films; not due in particular part to the ending, but the structure of the story and the use of the music certainly was reminiscent of some of the great hopeless Bollywood love stories I've seen.

My children have now picked up my love of Indian cinema. I can't even say how secretly thrilled I am when my two boys who will barely sit still for ten minutes sit, mesmerized, feverishly reading subtitles, completely involved until the credits roll. It seems a silly thing, doesn't it? But it has an importance to me that is hard to explain. You see, I love India. Now, of course, I realize that my India is not a real place; it is a version of a real place that exists in my head, made up of everything I have imagined about it since I was a girl. The truly ironic thing about my imaginary India? The one that is pieced together from everything I have been able to see from my distant perspective? What I love about it most is that it seems to be one of the most real places in the world. It seems so full of everything that I think of it as being a place where life is concentrated in ways that it may not be in other geographies. There is poverty, wealth, hope, despair, clang and clatter of too much and too many, still places where one might hear water slide off a blade of grass. This is what I imagine India to be. I don't know if that's how it truly is, and I may not ever find out. But when I sit with my sons and see them falling in love with this same imaginary place, it gives me hope that they might someday see the real India. It makes me think that maybe there is a reason why a girl from West Texas fell in love with a place that is on the other side of the world. I used to think that maybe I had business there, but perhaps it is one of my sons who will have business there one day. Perhaps it is one of them that will make sense of the connection.

Who knows? I still plan to go there one day. I am sure that the real India is more spectacular and amazing than even the one I carry in my head. This has always been the case with any place I have visited. In the meantime, I will continue to make the imaginary journey with my boys on weekend mornings with breakfast and a movie, all of us dreaming together of different places that are the same.
catelin: (glasses)
( Jul. 30th, 2006 08:33 am)
This day is always odd. I never can figure out if it is the beginning or end of my week, as it shifts and shapes itself according to what has come before it and what is on the horizon. The deer have already come and gone this morning, adjusting their routine to the heat, moving into the shadows when they can find them.

She sleeps while I drink my coffee and dabble with another painting. I came home early last night to play with the dogs and have a bit of quiet time. It bothered her that I took my own car, but I hate being at the mercy of a ride and feeling stuck. Small detail, but it says much about the state of our existence. I am not your satellite, I say. Not yours, not anyone's.

It is hot and clear today, without even a single brave cloud. The sky makes me wonder about the inside of a robin's egg, whether it would be this blue from the other side if it were halved across its length and placed over a much smaller me. This silky quiet life of mine is a luxury of summer. Even as I enjoy it for what it is, I look forward to next week when the boys will be home and the house will be full of their movement and chatter.
catelin: (sittingbrighid)
( Apr. 22nd, 2006 11:59 pm)
My hands are dirty. Sometimes digging in the dirt and planting things is the only way to feel better about everything. There's too much going on in my head and heart to make sense of these days, so I put agave and aloe into the ground around my little house. I planted prickly pear and cholla, Brazilian mallow and sunflowers. I scattered hollyhock and moonflower seeds across the back fence line. Tomorrow I'll begin piecing together all the cedar, transforming branches into trellises and garden gates. I forget sometimes, until I get outside, how much I love this place. It's not just my house; it's the land. I love my oaks and the grapevines. I love the way everything gets quiet at dusk and the deer come out to feed. I love the moon and the stars that move above me, reminding me that I am always going in circles and that's exactly as it should be. I love the sound of frogs in my pond and the old possum that finds its way to the cat's food every night. I remembered all these things today--the laundry list of what I love about here. No matter how much changes, I can't help but feel lucky to be home, to know that I have this place for me and my boys. My hands are dirty, but I feel cleaner than I have in months.
catelin: (sittingbrighid)
( Mar. 31st, 2006 09:10 pm)
It pains me, as much as it is a great relief, to find that I am becoming more and more practical when it comes to affairs of the heart. That great cold winter taught me well. Taught me that I can get through breaking even my own heart to do the right thing when I realize that it needs to be done. The ending of things still has the inevitable sting, but I have such a greater sense of movement these days...of how this time--now--will pass and soon things will be different in ways I have yet to even contemplate. New love will come, just like spring. I am lucky that way, and still so very grateful for all of my life's seasons.
catelin: (kiss)
( Feb. 14th, 2006 03:50 pm)
One of the most wondrous things about this sizeless virtual universe is the gift of how everyone has shared themselves in ways that make me certain love truly does make the world go around. I've seen love cut you to pieces, and watched you put yourselves back together again. I've watched new loves take shape and arc into amazing successes and beautiful disasters. There have been steady, quiet loves, expressed less in words and more by accounts of small actions. I've delighted in the determination of each of us to love in the best ways we could, to keep the faith in ways that were sometimes graceful, sometimes not. I've ached with the loss of loves, with the fleeting and perplexing nature of certain relationships. I've raged at the inablity of some to love themselves well enough, at their blindness to their own value. I've celebrated in the steadfastness of your ability to love not only people, but ideas...notions of kindness, justice and reconciliation even in the most cynical of times. I've cried over your secret heartbreaks, your bewilderment at being hurt, and your despair of ever finding someone who speaks your language. I've cheered you on when you picked yourselves up and moved on without really knowing where you would find yourselves at the end of the journey. The generosity with which you all share yourselves with the world makes it impossible for me to ever be glib or cynical about this place or what I read here. I am the recipient of countless valentines, day in and day out, always happy to attach myself to the heartstrings crafted from your words.
catelin: (Default)
( Jan. 30th, 2006 10:00 pm)
I'm here...quiet, reading, working feverishly to wrap up some writing projects. Winter doesn't seem like winter at all these days, all sun and moderation--leaves me with the feeling that the cold will be coming soon enough. My life is consumed once again by derby...our season starts in March and we're preparing in earnest now for our first kickass season. Work is hectic, but good. I've made a lot of decisions that are related to making peace with where I will be going from here. This entails a lot of work and catching up with things that I left to languish over the last year, but I'll get to where I need to be in time. The boys are both playing basketball now and it's an exercise in joy for both of them. There are few things I love more than watching how happy they are when they move, all action and enthusiasm, grinning and dribbling down the court at the rec center. As usual, it seems there are not enough hours in the day to get done what needs doing. I know I don't say much, and I'm probably a spotty friend even at my best, but I'm still keeping up with you all as well as I can. I miss you and I love you. I may not have much to say, but I'm always glad to know you are here with me.
catelin: (kiss)
( Dec. 16th, 2005 10:05 am)
In a few hours, one of my oldest and dearest friends, [livejournal.com profile] raindog will make her way to my doorstep. We have known each other for almost twenty years now, having met when we were both teaching Freshman Composition and working on our prospective degrees. We came from the same West Texas stock, red dirt girls who traveled in opposite directions. I moved to Los Angeles and she moved to the northwest to plant trees and talk to horses. We've moved around, we've found and lost lovers, we've had children. We've shared secrets, heartbreaks, giggles and joy for almost two decades now. It's hard to believe that it's been close to eight years since we've had a full night of gossip and girl talk in person. I can't wait!!!
catelin: (glasses)
( Dec. 14th, 2005 05:07 pm)
The worst part was the waiting. Waiting for the night to be over, waiting to get home, waiting for the vet to show up. Watching the clock until the phone rang with the receptionist calling to tell me they were running late. A reprieve of sorts. Another half hour for him to lay across my chest, purring and nuzzling my chin. I didn't know what else to do but lay there with him and be quiet. When I heard the car door outside I wanted to run and tell them I'd changed my mind, but I knew I couldn't. I could, of course; but it would only get worse and he would only get sicker. The end would still come and it would still hurt just as much.

It's an odd thing to know that a life is going to end. I can't get used to it. No matter how much I wrap my head around it, my heart takes so much longer to follow suit. I didn't cry until I told them that I wanted to be where he could see my face. I want my face to be the last thing that he sees. I don't want him to be afraid. And the beautiful thing? The thing that makes me certain that there were angels or whatever you want to call them there with us? He wasn't afraid. He looked at me and purred, he nuzzled the clippers while they shaved his little leg, he didn't make a sound when they put the needle in the vein. Then he was gone. In an instant. It was so fast that it took me a while to realize it and I just kept petting him and talking to him, even though I knew in my head...but it was my heart that still had things to say to him.

I buried him in the back yard next to the apricot tree. I felt relieved that it was all over. It was the right thing to do; but as is often the case, the right thing is sometimes the hardest of all things. Today I just feel the spaces where he used to be, along with all the other spaces of loved ones that I still miss. I get the impression that all the goodbyes over our lifetimes slowly turn us into honeycombs.
catelin: (glorious birds)
( Dec. 12th, 2005 06:03 pm)
I dug my oldest cat's grave this afternoon. The vet's coming over tomorrow afternoon to put him down but I figured that the last thing I would want to do once it's done is dig a hole. I'm paying extra for the house call, but the almost 20 years of companionship is worth the cost. He deserves for the last thing he's knows on this earth to be home and love. I've been sad about it but peaceful. It's time. I can tell he doesn't feel good. He stopped eating a couple of days ago and I knew. I'm not sure if it's that I'm getting older and learning to accept loss and death more gracefully, but the feel of the cool earth in my hands was oddly comforting. Odd indeed when I consider how terrified I used to be of being buried. I still shudder at the thought of being embalmed or any such nonsense, but as the years pass I find the thought of just being placed in a hole in the ground like my cats more reassuring than frightening. Burying him tomorrow will be hard, but we're all part of the earth. I'll take comfort in the thought that he is going to the only home that is more home than the one he shared with me.
catelin: (herahead)
( Dec. 7th, 2005 10:12 am)
The first real gray day of the season, and I have to get on the road in a few minutes. I just realized this morning that I let my fifth year here pass without note. The rhythm of my postings have an ebb and flow that I've accepted as natural. I'm always grateful that most of my friends don't take my less frequent comments or posts as anything but an indication that I am mulling things over until I have a way to say them. I'm always here, even when I'm quiet.

It's the birthday of my BFF, [livejournal.com profile] lacyunderall and that's reason enough for anyone to be happy, even on a cold day! I love you, Double D!!!!
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catelin: (flora)
( Nov. 29th, 2005 10:57 am)
I’ve been in a swirl of things lately that have had me reevaluating the way I live. This is not necessarily a bad thing. It’s good to take a look at everything once in a while and ask myself if I am where I want to be. My life here is so completely comfortable to me that it’s often a shock to realize that the people who come and go through the little house do not see it as the same refuge it is to me. I live out in the middle of nowhere really, about 20 miles from the nearest town of any size. I have two kids, two outside cats, three inside cats (soon to be two, as my oldest is still hanging in there but probably not long for this world), three dogs, and a bunch of deer that show up on my doorstep every morning for breakfast. I have a plot of land down the road, a fountain with a small goldfish pond, gardens that always need tending, paintings and various other projects in various stages of completion. My house is small but cozy, with crazy painted walls and artwork from people I love hanging in just about every spare corner. My windowsills are large and full of plants and souvenirs from the life I have lived so far—all an odd assortment of knickknacks that have their own stories. I share this place with people as they come into my life, whether friends or lovers; but it is always so very much mine, perhaps too much so for anyone to really feel like there is a permanent place for them here. The possibility of leaving or making any significant changes to the way I live is remote. There are days that the nomad in me feels a bit trapped by this, days when the responsibility seems much more a curse than a blessing. For someone who spent such a long time being able to leave places at the drop of a hat with no worries about who would watch the kids or feed the animals, the logistics of getting away can be difficult at best. I chafe at the ties sometimes, wishing for other places and things. Ultimately, I always come to the same conclusion…that I love my home. I love the way the tile floor feels on my feet, I love the way the sun comes in through my curtains, I love the way the house resonates with all the energy of life with my boys and my menagerie. I am as connected to this place as I probably will ever be to anything. So while offers of a different life in a different place might be appealing on any given day, the truth is I wouldn’t leave this place again even if I could. Time and children leaving the nest may change that for me, but this is where I want to be now. As with anything, the choices we make for ourselves always have consequences. My choice to stay here in the little house may dictate the path that my relationships will take; my obligations to my children and my home are always paramount to anything else. This leaves the brave souls who dare to love me traveling out to the middle of nowhere to find me—sometimes this makes me happy, other times it makes me guilty for being so necessarily selfish. My wish for someone to want to stay and never leave would probably evaporate once the decision was made to do so. I am always practical about my impracticality. If there is any one thing that my home and my life have given me, it is freedom from the yoke of expectations. I live without them to a large extent, because the home I have created allows us that luxury. It allows us room to unfold and be however it is we need to be. So at the heart of all the swirling about, I reach the same conclusion each time—this is my home and, with all its quirks and comforts, there really is no other place like it.
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