The Key

Photo Credit: Sue Vincent

 

Practically everyone but the real-estate agent had been against him purchasing the place.

“That heap of rot is a death trap,” his friend Tomas had said.

“It is haunted,” Fran had shuddered. “You’ll get murdered in your sleep and become another ghost, just like them.”

Others hadn’t been much subtler:

“The place is a wreck!”

“This monster will eat up all your money and spit you out broke and homeless.”

“Are you out of your effing mind?”

“Gosh, Dude, you need a shrink!”

To be fair, the last two statements were probably true. … Not that this stopped him from finding ways to manage all these years without a shrink. Not that there weren’t times during the first year in the house, when the old thing seemed intent on falling about his ears and his bank account skied a Black Diamond toward zero, when he didn’t wonder whether his mental health was sliding south just as precipitously.

But he’d held on to his bootstraps and soldiered on. In part to not lose face but mostly because he had indeed sank so much of his limited assets into the house that there was no way out but through. He gave up his rental apartment in town and erected a tent in the middle of the mansion’s living room where the roof leaked the least. He uncovered the well and hauled out buckets of muck before clean water once more found purchase. He cleared paths through the overgrown hedges and the man-height weeds that overtook what had been a lawn around the house. He scraped moss and mold off of stone walls. He evicted pigeons, rats, squirrels, countless spiders, and a skunk that made sure her discontent lingered. He discovered woodwork under paint, a carved gate under briars, a clubfoot tub under rubble, and a door to a hidden passageway behind a rotting cabinet.

Here and there a friend would agree to help with this or that, and twice he’d hired someone with engine-muscle to lug out things that needed more than human-power. But most his friends couldn’t help (and some refused to ‘enable’ what they declared an insanity), and hiring anyone ate big bites out of a budget that wasn’t hefty to begin with. So he buckled down and did much of the work himself, making small but steady dents in a mountain he did not think would ever yield to order. The list of things left to do only kept growing: parts of the roof needed repair, the kitchen floor needed replacing, the electric lines were too ancient to hold power, the pipes leaked, and the sewers were more roots than flow. The work was Sisyphean.

And still … between moments of sheer desolation and utter despair, he realized that he was actually sleeping soundly for the first time in his life. A smile would sneak onto his lips as he sanded this or patched up that or cleared another mess of spider webs or thickets. He hummed an ear-worm for a whole weekend and no one shushed him for not being able to carry a tune.

It was as if he’d accepted the house and its flaws, and the house in return had accepted him. He felt happy. He felt at home.

The realization stunned him.

Though he wouldn’t have been able to articulate it at the time, he came to understand that the reason he had been drawn to purchasing a run-down estate with overgrown grounds in the middle of a god-forsaken forest, was in part because of memories of another building surrounded by a tall stone fence: the “Home” that never truly was one and yet had been the only model he’d had.

He’d accumulated more moments of abject misery in the “Home” than he ever wanted to recall. Countless nights yearning to be old enough to leave … even as he’d feared the day he would be made to do so.

This long-neglected house with its aged stone fence and beautiful wide gate, was his. No one could tell him he’d aged out and could not stay. No one could tell him that his bed is needed to make room for someone else, or that it was time for him to fend for himself and no longer rely on the charity of others to feed and clothe and put a roof over his head.

It didn’t matter that the repairs would take years and that most of the rooms would not be usable for just as long. It didn’t matter that he didn’t have a clear plan for what he’d use all these rooms for. What mattered was that this old place was real. That it was full of history and memory. That it stood firm onto the ground and offered to be the roots he’d otherwise have no way to lay claim to. This house was him. Healing it was the key to who he could become.

 

 

For Sue Vincent’s Write Photo prompt invitation

 

Go Below

Go Below AmitaiAsif

Photo: Amitai Asif

 

Go below

The surface

Of the things you know

And into hollows

That are there, but

You have not yet

Allowed

To grow.

 

 

For the Tuesday Photo Challenge: Surface

 

Be a Rebel Today

hard headed InbarAsif

Photo: Inbar Asif

 

 

Be a rebel

Today

Against old ways

That no longer

Nourish

And worries

That hold back

The changes

You know

Your soul

Needs.

 

 

 

 

For The Daily Post

You, Authenticated

Cross AmitaiAsif

Photo: Amitai Asif

 

What makes you, the real you?

What holds truth to your being?

How do you separate

Masks and screens

From true seeing?

In the search to find you,

What peels off

What is freeing?

Do you take on the journey?

Would it matter yet still

To find out

Or accept

That you’re all of it

Whole,

And besides it some more

Guaranteeing?

 

 

For The Daily Post

Plumb The Depths

 

go deep OfirAsif

Photo: Ofir Asif

 

Explore the vistas

Still unseen

Below the concepts

Left to grasp

As depths of thoughts

Plumb deep

The mind

And Spirit knows

What to redeem.

 

 

For The Daily Post

Be A Little Foreign

Mexico1 InbarAsif

Photo: Inbar Asif

 

Be a little foreign

To yourself.

Let corners of not-yet-seen

Within

Take a tour

Inside your mind.

Embrace

The unfamiliar parts of

You

Till they become

Another kind of

Home.

 

 

 

For The Daily Post

The Warp, The Woof

Guatemala AtaraKatz

Photo: Atara Katz

 

Weave the fabric

Of your life.

Reshape

Reuse

The warp,

The woof.

Line up

Soft hues

In the

Foundation

You call

Home.

 

 

For The Daily Post

Make Conversation

Quiet Moment Photo: D.F.

Photo: Dvora Freedman

 

Make conversation

With your heart.

Put into words

The beat

The pulse

The hope

The life.

Make conversation

With the rhythms

Of your mind.

Get to know

You

As you would

A best friend

A soulmate

A reluctant

Spirit guide.

 

 

For The Daily Post

The Way Up

Photo-jaxsonpohlmanphotography
https://www.instagram.com/jaxsonpohlmanphotography/

 

Find your way up.

Even if it does not take you

In straight line

Or all the way to

Summit.

Find your way up.

Through twist and turns

Through tears and woe

Through long forsaken roads

Of endless

Wandering.

Find your way up.

Through dark pre-dawn

Through moonlit nights

Through the innumerous

Unsheltered

Evenings.

Find your way up.

Reach deep

Climb high

Into yourself

Into the core

Of heart

And spirit

Knowing.

 

 

For The Daily Post