words from a new place

October 14, 2009

i haven’t been here in so long. i haven’t missed it until just now. the just now because i left my good friend’s blog just now and was transported, through her writing, so immediately to what the past three months have been for her that i felt my knees get weak and my heart tighten. this journey, this big one that is living and surviving and celebrating our one life, well the bigness can just seem so… capital B Big. the bitter and the sweet – the wrap up of both – can flip your heart around for the sheer ache of it all. it is that for me, and it is that in moments for those whom i love. all i know to do is continue to tell the truth, to trust, to keep kissing on everyone. life gets hard, and suddenly, i want to kiss and write. sadly it will have to be the latter for now.

maya told me tonight that she wanted to skip the early grades (this from a first grader) and move on to what comes later so she can skip all the homework she’ll have to do between now and then. i told her of course that was impossible – that she would feel horribly overwhelmed by homework if she left what is Here to jump to There. but really, what i wanted to say was “me too! i want to skip all of this hard work and just arrive, at some big playground or ballroom of a place that feels grand and better and easier than this.” because really, on top of the necessary tasks – the making of money, the making of meals, cleaning the sweet, cozy house, washing grass stains and paint out of school uniforms, walking the dog, grinding perfect coffee to make the new day manageable, applying eyeliner, watering the yard – outside of the thousands of little things we all do (not to mention what we feel) is still, at least in my world, homework.

which brings me away from my beautiful friend’s july, august & september, and back to my own. first though let me say to that beautiful friend how much i miss her and honor her and how graciously she is walking upon an incredibly hard path. were i so strong.

okay so, moi encore. some of you know i recently moved to a new-old house. i was asked in june to leave my beautiful old apartment by the sea (at that moment began the homework), and as devastated as i was, once that passed (about twenty minutes later, weird.), i knew the move would be life-changing. time to let go, of everything that was, so i could see everything that may be. did i say that was june? good god, how did i survive it? maya was out of school and barely in summer camp. i had just picked up a second job, the heat was coming – ugh – and i had a house to find and five trillion pounds of stuff to pack and move. homework is hard.

i won’t bore you with the details, as they are excruciating and this was by far the most heinous move i’ve ever made. but i did it. i looked and looked for a perfect place – not sure i would find one given the lovelier-than-lovely space i was leaving – and on a weekday afternoon with my mom and my sissy and my kiddo in the car, we bought jumbo iced lattes and spent hours looking for the house that would be the right fit. and at the almost-end of that day, we found it. or it found me. either way, the packing and purging began, and though family and friends helped to clean, and pack, and move, the bulk of what took place was my work. my homework.

i did so much of it alone, moving things in during off hours and packing while maya was asleep. and the deeper work too, it was mine alone; it felt solitary, and i felt singular within it, and empowered. saying goodbye to a house i was connected to in so many different ways for thirteen years was painful. seven of those years i lived there. my Estranged Husband and i courted there. later, from the house we bought, we drove there to pick up ten-week old puppy lucybean from my sister and her soon-to-be husband. we sold our house and moved back there when i was nursing five-month old maya. i lost my marriage there, spent countless nights sleepless and buried in sadness. and finally, i recovered there. went back to work, started to write, cooked for maya and i in the kitchen and got back to a normal weight. entertained friends and became peaceful and did a few outlandish things. i loved that house with so much of my heart and soul; it became wonderful to reflect on its place in my life, soak in its beauty, and say goodbye.

and now i am here. did i find the perfect place that would soothe my soul and my spirit as i let more of what has been, go? i did. a whole house, for me and my girl and our dog. we lost kitty cat boomer days after moving in; she had been sick, was getting better, but the move took away her appetite and her body couldn’t seem to recover a second time. boomer died in my arms on our second monday morning here, and it was beautiful and crushing to be in her last hours with her. thank god maya was with her papa, and that boomer was with me: she laid on my chest for most of the morning, and seemed peaceful and without pain before we said goodbye. we honored her by burying her in our new yard, and planted an asparagus fern from the old house smack dab on top of her to celebrate her perfect kitty-ness and eleven-year life. the plant won’t stop growing, and every day on the way out we say good morning boomer!, just like we did when she was with us.

Outside is a canopy of trees that shades from the sidewalk to the front door. A secluded porch houses my old green bench – the one people fight to sit in at parties –¬† and everywhere are beautiful old plants that i imagine have been here for ages: crepe myrtle trees, gardenias and roses, fragrant jasmine. Inside are windows (so many windows), and built-ins, and a big kitchen in the exact middle of the house, where kitchens should be, as they are the heart of the home. the living room is light-filled, big and long; long enough for two couches and my old blueprint filing cabinet as an art space for maya. the bathroom feels like a train car, the bedrooms are perfect squares (how i love perfectly square rooms), and there are three of them, which means i have a work space again where i get to paint. something i haven’t found time or space for since maya was born. i get to paint. the only thing next to yoga and writing and yes, kissing, that feels like being in the center of myself and utterly lost all at the same time.

but the best part of our new home is the circle within it. you can go from the living room to the kitchen to my studio, make a right through the bizarre train-car doors of the bathroom, move past one bedroom and through another, and end up right back in the living room again. maya and i have chased each other in our pajamas more than once through the house in the past two months, and it is a perfect circle, one of the few times you can see the beginning as you are nearing the end. could there be a more fitting metaphor? does it matter that the irony is ridiculously obvious? i think no, probably not. i am just grateful to be here, seeing the end, at the same time i am seeing the beginning, of what is turning out to be a strangely perfect circle.

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3 Responses to “words from a new place”

  1. Javier Says:

    Bonita Kerry,
    Bonito Bolg,
    Bonito Phone talk,
    Bonita tu.
    yo.

  2. Charlene Says:

    What amazing words you put together…what a great and inspirational piece to read. I had no idea what moved you out of your place but am so happy to know you have found the next step in your journey.
    I loved reading your writing and will return to it to remind me of how strong, creative, adventurous, willful, a person can be.
    You are a beauty!!!

  3. Julieta Says:

    I’m smiling, I’m giggling, I’m crying…I understand and I am chearing for you to keep going. You’r so thoughtful in life.

    With Love ~
    Julieta


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