“Do you know," Peter asked, "why swallows build in the eaves of houses? It is to listen to the stories.” ~ J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan

6.12.2008

Yours/Mine/His/Hers/Theirs/Ours


Last night I awakened in my dream, to find imprints of small flowers on my face & arms. I stood in front of my dream-mirror, enchanted & amazed at the patterns, watching for them to begin to move. To dance or twirl. I could feel their weight. And then I awoke from the dream to sparkles of sunlight & leaf patterns on my real-life face & arms, slightly warm against my skin, dancing to the rhythm of the fan's whirling. I'd slept for 14 hours. Supper had been ½ pint of lemon sorbet & water with ice cubes, with phones turned off. I reveled in the silence, the aloneness, the feel of the heavy cold air in the room, the white blanket over my feet, Maggie nestled near. MY space, MY home. Mine.

And then, while eating breakfast, I watched cars parking on the street outside, people hurrying up the block. An estate sale 3 doors up, past the cross street. I walked over (I'd always wondered what the inside of that house looked like) & the house was wall-to-wall with people touching things, talking about things. Someone else's things. It broke my heart. I remember when the elderly couple who'd lived there used to walk their dogs - every day, 2ce a day, they'd pass my front window, poodle on one leash, chihuahua on another. And then she was gone, and he walked the dogs, Soon there was only one dog, and soon, he himself was gone. I remembered the times I'd seen an ambulance at the house, my concern for the dog. And now here was their stuff. His/hers/theirs. I had to leave.

Is it ever really OURS? I suppose not, I suppose we just borrow whatever it is we borrow, and leave it for someone else to borrow when we're gone. Although - I know Maggie's heart is mine, I know the look I sometimes see in Michael's eyes is mine - not things, but mine nonetheless. The way last night's silence was mine, the dream was mine, the feel of the ice cubes in my mouth was mine.

I hope the couple who'd lived in the house up the street are happy someone wants to borrow their things for a while. Years ago, Michael & I were wandering through an estate sale & happened upon some darkroom equipment. A negative carrier had been left in an enlarger & when Michael pulled it out, an old business card of his fell out, with photo price quotes scribbled on the back. It felt like a smile from the Universe. Mine, it said, but yours also.

8 comments:

  1. Girl, your prose really ROCKS! Wow...I am stupefied (I feel like I use the word, 'amazing' too much, so am resorting to stupefied). You have quite the gift for taking your reader with you without any clutter.
    My jaw is still hanging open...

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  2. I am so, so flattered & so glad you liked it. And amazed that I'm seeing it at this hour. I am still awake, having slept so long last night that I apparently need not so much sleep tonight. We'll see tomorrow!

    Many, many thanks.
    Debi

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  3. I read this first paragraph with the biggest smile on my face. I wake up in that aloneness and calm every morning, and wouldn't want it any other way. I feel very protective of this space of mine (inner space and outer), even if it is borrowed!

    The imagery of the twirling flower imprints took my breath away (how uniquely beautiful), and so did this gorgeous photograph.

    Much love
    xo

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  4. Jaime - Aloneness is very underrated. I need it to recharge.

    And it was a GORGEOUS dream!

    Love, Debi

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  5. In case it matters- great writing by the way- the stuff in the house was all brought in by professional sellers. I don't know what happened to the Emmonds stuff. Long gone. A couple of college boys rented the house for a few months this spring semester.

    Did you see the Tyler red paving bricks in the basement? Lots of them. THAT may have been from the Emmonds.

    AC says he worked on this house all one summer when he was a kid and it was being built.

    Tiny closets. House like a little square jewel box. And that big white oak out front tettering in the concrete box they built for it 50 years ago. Very impressive. It's the source of the REALLY big acorns with worms in them that roll down the street gutter all the time.

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  6. Robert - I didn't see the bricks. It was truly wall-to-wall people & I had to swim against the crowd to get out.

    Dan told me later that the house was being used as by pro sellers, and it made me feel better, but I don't know why. I guess if it's anonymous stuff, that makes it okay?

    The house was much tinier that I'd thought. If AC worked on it when he was a kid it's also much older than I thought. And I'm amazed that that tree is still there - it's pretty cool.

    PS - Thanks for the compliment!

    Debi

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  7. see my comment made on your post about 13 things that scare me. you absolutely nailed that fear of mine in describing your neighboring couple's walks down your street through time, losing one heart after another until they were gone. i hope they loved the "mine" part of their lives as much as they could and as much as you seem to be trying to do for yourself. maybe i was meant to read these posts all in on sitting. they are mesmerizing and offer priceless bits of wisdom along with small peeks into your heart. thank you debi.
    xo

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  8. Robin - I think they had good lives. I never met them but waved at them all the time. They seemed to enjoy their walks & it made me quite happy to see them out. It seems so sad that things have to change in the ways they do, though. I understand your fear.

    Take care.
    Love, Debi

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come. sit under the emma tree & let's talk. i have cookies . . .