Me & C. outside the shop apartment the day of our first adventure.
I feel odd being awake while my husband and children rest. I have laid beside them for a few short moments only, listening to the deep and steady draws of their breath. On one level, I feel it a blessing and calling to be with them. On another, thoughts are stacked within my mind like jagged pieces of glass, and I must write to relieve the pain and to realign the energy of my chakras. By writing down anything genuine, my throat chakra opens and becomes attuned so that all communication clears and flows with greater ease. One thing I've learned of late is not to fear being authentic. If I am being authentic, then my actions tend to explain themselves. I am being authentic now--curled in my husband C.'s chair, in the living room of the home he built beside the railroad tracks. I visited our old shop apartment tonight for the first time in almost three years. I originally left it in a flurry after returning from work back when I taught 7th grade at a public middle school. C.had planned this sudden exodus into our new home to be a surprise. He and most of our things were gone. Our friend Mark greeted me and told me that I had to go immediately. I didn't really say goodbye.
I guess moving right across the tracks somewhat dimmed the blow, as did my ongoing connection to the shop. C. still worked there, afterall. It was still the regular destination of daily evening strolls. However, all my focus was on the common areas--not the upstairs bathroom where I sat crouched in the very first contractions of labor with my firstborn child, not the bedroom where my future husband explained that I could not ride a motorcycle in jeans and carefully laid out his leathers for me to wear on our first adventure , not the living room where I'd stay up nights with my stepson when he couldn't sleep but his father could no longer combat the sweet seduction of slumber, nor the spot where I used to cuddle my daughter when she was so tiny and fit right across my chest, her tiny heart beating into mine. That old apartment is where my stepson came to stay for his first legal visit and where my daughter spent her first year on Earth. One night we took her to hospital in Atlanta and held her little hands while she lay across an x-ray table. The doctors told us not to let her lie on her back that night, so we set her up on a couch in the living room and held her and each other. For the first time, I really felt myself to be part of a family, a mother and wife. The old apartment was a place of breakdowns and breakthroughs, most of which I hadn't considered until its current occupants invited me to go up there and have a look around.
One thing I've gleaned from my 20s, along with not fearing authenticity, is that all relationships resemble those between precious prickly porcupines, which will endure minor wounds in order to receive each other's life-sustaining warmth and closeness. Bearing that in mind, the time I've spent in each of my adult homes has been over-whelmingly loving and besieged by fewer stresses than I imagine most families have known during a historic decade of economic depression and war. The raw energy within our loft gave birth to our life within our present house, and our life here has given birth to both our youngest son and our new careers, which have the potential to dramatically re-shape perceptions of both individuals and society. While these are still in the process of being realized fully, my rapid departure from the shop three years ago is evidence that change strikes with speed.
As for the loft itself, my recent tour revealed that it is still a rapidly evolving energy center--an amalgam of fear, confusion, peace, joy, sorrow, sweetness, passion and hope charged by an atmosphere of sweat, smoke, steel and song. Its inhabitants manipulate these frequencies in the manner that a welder makes his art and, alongside my husband and me, continue co-creating a story that will take us to other places when we've mastered the challenges of our present homes and embraced the joy they've contained.