Monday, November 22, 2010

Tearing Down The House...

Opening Thoughts:  There's something in the water, I think.  Seems like so many people I know are willingly tearing down their houses, in response to a quiet wind blowing inside of them, one that whispers there's a better, more beautiful home to be had...  This blog is dedicated to Maggie, Steve and Amy.  Oh, and me, too. ((‿.))✰♥

The year I built my house, I had a poem all set to stencil on one of the walls downstairs.  That room was to be a combination reading/music room, plush and inviting with overstuffed seating, large pillows in the corners, tropical plants and heavy draperies, too.  The poem, Here Is All I've Counted Splendid, written by Edgar A. Guest, was to be a perfect addition, I thought:
Write it down when I have perished:
Here is everything I have cherished;
That these walls should glow with beauty
Spurred my lagging soul to duty.

That there should be gladness here
Kept me tolling year by year...
Every thought and every act
Were to keep this home intact.

It summed up the way I felt about the house I'd just built.  The house I'D BUILT, because that year, the man I'd married was non-existent - literally.  Forever gone on trips where he fully applied himself to a rigorous schedule of work and play in order to create the prosperity and head-space required to bank-roll a new build and a jet-set lifestyle.  Forever unplugged from the daily rigors of family, after discovering children, house-hold chores and traditions weren't really his thing.
PHOTO:  Last week, on my birthday.  November, 2010

I was down with that.  I didn't need anybody anyway.  And I'd already decided love wasn't ever gonna be a part part of my equation.  After a childhood some would surely describe as hellish, my entire attitude could have been summed up with: "ain't nuttin' but a thang to me..."  I'd been programmed long ago to soldier on.

But that kind of imbalance can only spawn ruin.  That kind of life, when involving actual living, breathing human beings, tends to break down the body and soul over a sustained period.  And believe me, I'm not telling the half of my story - not hardly; not yet.

Anyways, I never did stencil that quote on my wall.  It made no sense; where it had once characterized my idealistic hope and view of achieving a home at last, after years and years and just... too... many... years... of moving, I wanted a home.  I wanted a family.  I wanted to pour my heart and soul into both - breathing my own life into them; I wanted to make it all beautiful and alive.  I wasn't afraid of hard work - I never have been.  I'd already survived life as a latch-key kid and I'd already stood, crying, on a Manhattan corner with no money, no home, no one to call.  A sucky marriage?  Wadn't nuttin' but a thang.  Now... I have an entirely different definition of  Home.  And I have a Part II to Mr. Guest's poem:
No amount of mere toil or love 
Can make a house a home
There's a magic that must come to stay
And it must enter on it's own

The unseen energy that comes and snakes 
between lovers, betwixt mother and child
Blissful, free, heady, luminous
Intoxicating, gorgeous, wild...

I am not afraid to tear down this place
That something better can grow
First order of business is to clear this space
Or --- soldier on and never know...



Judy Martene said...

I so identify...did you write it about me???
WE have come such a long way!
You go girl!

Ann said...

There you are. I was beginning to get worried about you, LOL. I do realize you just ended your book tour so I'm sure alls well and you're just resting up. This was one hell of a blog post to come back with though, Jo Lynne. I loved it. Then again I always love getting a little glimpse into your private life. If no one's ever told you, it makes your writing and the stories you tell all the more alive. So much makes sense and yes I see you are one of us and I had to admit I love that. xoxoAnnie

Ben said...

Wow Jo Lynne, I knew but I didn't KNOW... to this extent. You're starting to make sense, young lady.

WykedSyren said...

I ♥ it...Soldier On.. I believe we both know how that feel... Stay strong :-)

Helen said...

I too know all about soldiering on. Thanks for sharing this Jo Lynne.

Ken Swenson said...

Some people unfortunately are too into "stuff", and obviously not willing to concentrate, to pay attention, and to truly appreciate and savor the internal soul and beauty that they have hooked into. His loss, our magnificent gain, as always, tame you, never ever, why in the Universe would I want to dim a light that so obviously shines strong, pure,and honor bright...

stacey said...

Made me cry as usual, Jo Lynne. Like you say it's all a journey. Thank you for sharing yours with us. Your books are just as real as you are. So happy I stumbled upon you last year. My life has doubled and improved tenfold!

Anonymous said...

Wow did this hit home. You're a very good writer. Felt like you were talking straight to me.

Love and Horror Amy Williamson said...

I think I shall forever love THIS blog post JoLynne. Brought tears to meh eyes. ✖ßlëSSë∂ÞöSŦ✖

Love and Horror

I am not afraid to tear down this place. That something better can grow. First order of business is to clear this spaceOr --- soldier on and never know...