Sunday, 25 May 2014

Dig This!

I wonder if it will be necessary for archaeologists to excavate and sift through the earth with surgical precision in order to study the human journey here in the western world during the twentieth and twenty-first century as they have done in order to study ancient cultures from the past? As I enjoy an early morning walk I find it necessary to step out widely from my path in order to go around a hide-a-bed in full extension, blocking the sidewalk and I conclude, little or no digging will be necessary! As to what they might conclude with regard to what "we" as a society value, what gives our lives purpose and what measures are implemented to guard against the personal spectre of irrelevancy, the apparently disposable couch seems to speak volumes. Now if they found the couch outside the crumbling remains of the foundation of the house they might conclude the inhabitants enjoyed sleeping outside under the stars. They could be forgiven for not realizing the stars are largely invisible due to the light pollution of urban sprawl. How could they know that the dwelling simply became too full of stuff or that it was "necessary" to replace this couch not because it was broken or ceased to do what couches do. No, this piece of furniture was made redundant through the fickle and addicting pursuit of the correct colour scheme and pattern that marks what is in vogue. "Oh my God that is so 70's it has got to go!"I hazard a guess that such trends have an even shorter turn-over rate currently, so even within the time frame of a decade there would be innumerable style changes.

Our archaeologists would have no way of knowing that in order to satisfy the need to sit and sleep alone, there could conceivably have been many forms of furniture come and go. The hide-a-bed was already mentioned, perhaps there has been a futon, maybe that has been retained to replace the monolithic couch that threatens to render anyone that dares to move it an opportunity to contribute to some chiropractor's retirement vision. And the water bed, what became of that? Retailed for thousands of dollars when it's place on the "popularity" wave was only exceeded by the waves created by the slightest movement once on the mattress. Of course technological advancement put cutting edge "baffles" in the next generation of beds to cut down on motion, with the exception of the movement of old bed out, new bed in. Hand to wallet, money to vender, as one purchases, hot of the sales floor, the next item of redundancy. The meter on the lifespan of that item began running while it was still in the window of the store. Not unlike the call of the sirens the seemingly hapless consumer can't wait to part with the money they have earned so that they can be the first one in the staff room at the job they lament going to every Monday morning, to brag about their latest acquisition. I mean really, should the combination of water and beds send people clamouring for their wallets, credit and lay-a-way plans - your lucky if the thing is paid off before the time released irrelevancy reaches maturation. I suggest that a lake or river would provide a relaxing location to float and perhaps the reality of incontinence may visit in years to come that might have one longing for a waterless sleep!

Now I know of the difficulty to find new homes for "old" furniture, having just emptied my parents home over a period of a couple months. My mom passed 2 days before her 87th birthday my dad now 85 has gone into care. Fifty - sixty years spent in that house, that's a lot of living! There even was a hide-a-bed, thankfully someone presented that was starting over after a marriage break-up and brought his young 20-something son along to carry it out. This in my mind alone reinforces my faith in the divine, one of many modern day miracles in my life. As I have said this journey has been and will continue to be, unquestionably a rite of passage for me. One of the revelations I am claiming as my own is that as I now approach my 55th year, my days of moving things such as hide-a-beds is over! I have nothing to prove in that respect. I love myself and my back! While flipping through a program from the Highland games/Celtic Festival I noticed mostly the athletes in those strength events were in their early 30's. I watched them tossing their shit across the field and concluded a few things - that is remarkable, I know better, and if you want your widow-maker couch moved, call one of those men or women.

For sure some things came and went from that house over the years, but not many! It was a bit like an above ground time capsule. A four bedroom house - which included a fifth living space that one of my grandmother's lived in for twenty years after her husband passed. There was multiple generations represented in the stuff there - including things from grandma's parents (I think). I was adopted as a child into this family so I had minimal interest and therefore knowledge, of the complexities of their lineage. When all was said and done everything was cleared from that house except one couch and chair. Oh how we tried - unfortunately it had the leprosy of furnishing, a floral pattern, perfectly good furniture otherwise. The thrift store arrived for a pre-arranged pickup, took one look at the couch and chair and flatly refused it. I'm in a small condo so I certainly don't need it! In fact the lazy-boy recliner love seat I have will not be replace any time soon, if ever. Frankly I think I'll suggest it be thrown in the crematorium with me stretched out on it and we both can enjoy a ceremonious departure!

So though it offends my sensibilities the couch and chair ended up furnishing the land fill. I did my best, out of a very well furnished house, that was all that was left over - with the exception of some stuff the new owners wanted. Everything was given away to friends and their extended family and a few charities in order to honour the life of my parents and their willingness to be of service to others and my feeling compelled to "reduce, reuse, recycle." Out of that house much of the street community may well now have new wardrobes, the food bank was given a boost (and some "Boost") a group home was given a multitude of items for their fundraiser - to purchase a "house dog" and establish a bank account for food and vet bills. To me this was far superior to the oft suggested "have a garage sale" or put the items on "Used Victoria" - my time is worth more to me than to spend it fielding phone calls from people that want to look at something and then don't show up and when they do, to either the garage sale or in response to ads, they want to grind you so that when all is said and done your lucky if you off-set the cost of gas spent doing all the running around.

This weekend will mark my last visit to the house I grew up in - the house that was the culmination of my parents life work. I will pick up a vacuum cleaner that remained behind for clean-up. Until now I have had one of those electric brooms - or whatever they call them, in truth it sucks (but not very well!) I will leave my keys behind and walk away. I have been blessed to have had the time to go through the house piece by piece and had the joy of bringing the gardens back to their full splendor and to see the spring majesty unveiled one last time.

The journey has been one of spiritual archaeology for me - while I might not have unearthed skeletons from the closets, I am doing everything in my power to heal and reclaim all of myself that which was lost, surrendered, was taken or was abandoned in that house. Toward the end of next month I will sing two songs at the Unity Spiritual community gathering, both from movies I was taken to in my youth - one, Edelweiss (from the Sound of Music) the other "Born Free" these songs touch and move me deeply and speak to me of freedom. The young boy that lived in that house could not have possibly allowed the vulnerability of public performance, let alone the possibility of becoming emotional while publicly performing - my aging being wishes to welcome him home. From this point forward we will walk together, frankly I've been lost without him, he is everything that makes life worth living. He never should have been exiled, abandoned and ostracized for who he was, least of all by me.

So then, there is much to forgive and then again, perhaps nothing at all - I now bring love to all that was, in order to be here now, in love and to then live from love everlasting.