2.24.2012

Vacancy

A few months ago I visited my grandparents' home.  House.  It's really just a house now. It's empty. The stuff is still there but the house is hollow.  I wrote about it then, but I am still thinking about it (and writing about it) now. 

It kind of blew my mind the way things were falling apart. Just because. Just because no one was there to fix things up. There was a dead mouse in the basement. Things were cracking and peeling and leaking and plants were growing and I could see it all happening in my head like a stop-motion video, this house and home and place I love, turning back into earth. Turning into the world the way it is when we aren't there to make our very people-y changes.

I walked around the yard with my kids, just the four of us, and I felt like a ghost. I thought about everything that ever happened in that yard. I looked at the little shed in the side yard -- the shed that stored my first bike and my first wagon -- and I looked straight into the eyes of a fox. A fox.  A fox that lived there now, in a hole under that shed full of history. An actual fox, with a lame leg. It came hobbling towards us and I froze, both terrified and in awe as this place to which I belong was taken away from me by the earth and the grass and the way things just are.

one day, when i was five -3-

11 comments:

  1. Beautifully written and it just breaks my heart at the same time.

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  2. It's disconcerting how quickly nature can take apart the worlds we keep so tidy for ourselves. It's so unnerving to encounter, that it throws us between worlds. Just like you so beautifully said. It makes us into phantoms walking in the previous world and a strange, changed reality at the same time.

    How surreal to encounter a fox like that. and a hobbled one. what a striking, bizarre experience to add to the situation.

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  3. Beautiful writing. I'm so glad you didn't save this one. It's perfect. You've taken me right to my own grandparents' abandoned house and the emotion is so there.

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  4. Sometimes it is so crazy to try and grasp the concept of life moving on. I have felt that way after deaths, after moving, after change. I can feel your writing, and I like that, even when the feelings are a bit uncomfortable.

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  5. This was beautiful.

    When in my grandma's neighborhood, I'd make sure we drove by her house. After she died, it was sold to a house-flipper, who was gutting it and making it unrecognizable. Every time I drove by, it was less...her. I think I would have preferred it returned to nature rather than being stripped of all loveliness and charm for the stupid yuppies who discovered the neighborhood.

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  6. You have an amazing way with words and mental pictures and memories.

    I so wish I could tap into the memories that seem to be hidden away somewhere beyond my reach.

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  7. This brought me back to the times I used to visit my grandparents' farm and would look at the house (they had not lived in for years) on the property and get sad for the fact that I had no memories of it (I was born later in life in my family).

    These words are so beautiful, Erin. As are your memories.

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  8. Oh wow. It's always so hard to go back, such a temptation I've never been able to resist but one I question every time.

    Steph

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  9. i don't...i can't...she's the only one i've got left.

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