Friday, June 17, 2011
Mailbox is up, anybody home?
In what was an elaborate, somewhat messy, collaboration, our custom-designed mailbox is fully painted and fixed to its new perch-- a solid, beefy post stuck firmly into the ground. Let's see if it's vandal proof.
I still haven't done a thing on the inside of the house, other than blow some dust around and stare in disbelief at the wide-pine floors on the first floor and wonder just how many parties it took to trash them like that. And were the party guests wearing hockey skates, or crampons, in the house?
Remarkably little progress has been made towards us ever making a home of our house again.
Day after day goes by and I remain in hiding, ensconced in this little cabin in the woods, just a stone’s throw away from our real home, our empty home, our home which stands empty and hollow, just waiting for us to come back inside and fill its every cavernous inch with love and noise, peals of laughter, shrieks of anger and wails of sorrow, and the smell drying clothes and burnt toast and curry and the feel of stickyness--not spilled beer but strawberry jam and honey-- on the floor, all mixed together with the hair of our old dog.
“When are we going to our real home?” Isla asks me day after day. “I want to find my dress-ups, that green cape you told me about. I want to set up my bed.”
And Esther wants to move into her attic bedroom, and be with the horses every day. She wants to be able to wander outside to the barn without me escorting her down there.
But I.... I don’t seem to want any of it. Though I occasionally get glimmers of longing, moments of nostalgia, when I’m out in the weed choked perrenial garden, looking back on our home. I discovered, hidden under the messy tangle of dried and fresh weeds, our old strawberry patch. There under the blanket of dead wood sat perfect heart shaped leaves and dangling, bright red fruit.
But I don’t get that sense of promise and excitement when I’m inside. I feel nothing in there.
How could eight years of raising children in one house, a house my husband dropped sweat and pounds and years building for us, get pulled into a swirling funnel and sucked down memory drain?
What does it mean that I don’t have any desire to make a home for my children? When I was pregnant with Esther and we first moved in, the place was still a construction zone, yet I took on the role of the expecting mother and wife and trotted off to town to pick up things, little and big, things to fill up the empty space with, things to surround ourselves with, to feather our nest with.
Now all these things have been put away, stored in the attic, left behind for two whole years and, honestly, I don’t have the desire to ever see any of it again.
There is nothing in our living room but two rotten couches, a handed down Ikea chair and a kitchen table. I feel empty when I stand in that room. I cannot imagine it ever feeling anything but empty. Is this normal?
I expected some depression from this whole reentry to America experience. But not quite of this depth.
Anyone know a good, cheap therapist? Is there such a thing as a "find your old life" service?
Slightly more encouraging words can be found over here at Momformation.