You lived here once,
for fifteen years, happy years, most of them,
in this old house full of history and creaks,
without a right angle in the place,
with floors waxed with bowling alley wax,
pine turned dark by too much of the wrong thing,
a dream come true,
until realized too late
that the dream had less to do with the house
than the life within,
and when that life died,
the house became something less,
an interesting shell,
an antique no longer needed or even desired,
a crime scene, with the death being mine,
at least for a time.
Since then, a journey,
an apartment under the stairs,
a converted jailhouse,
and finally, this miner’s house,
straight and simple
and unexpectedly perfect for the time and place
that is your life today.
It is quiet,
and its walls fall away easily,
a moldable kind of place,
transforming with every transient that wanders through,
it has become my birthing place,
where the corpse was dumped,
and slowly began to breathe again, unaware
of its resurrection until years later,
happy now to dream less,
and live more.
About this poem
I stumbled on the picture while looking for something else this morning.
The house in the picture was the house I lived in for the last fifteen years of my marriage. It was, in many ways, my dream house, two floors of ancient Americana, gloriously imperfect and quirky. I expected to live there for the rest of my life and die there.
In a way I did.
After the divorce, I lived in a lot of places, landing eight years ago in my little miner’s house in West Pawlet, Vermont. I make a lot less plans. I live more simply, more in the moment, and in a way I never expected, I am much happier, more me, more alive and more in love than I imagined possible.
Life is funny that way. The worst things that happen to us can be a gateway to the best things.