The quote in the title is from T.S. Eliot. The pictures are night time shots taken today of the house I was born and raised in for the first three years of my life. It happens to have been designed and built by the famous early 20th Century Craftsman Gustav Stickley and forms part of a Historic Preservation site, Craftsman Farms, located about 5 miles outside of the center of Morristown.
I had never visited this tiny house before. And I must confess that it was a tender experience as I stood with my mother and my sister, listening to the President of Craftsman Farms talk about the cottage’s importance in American culture. I slept underneath that leaded glass window with the awesome wainscotting, I thought to myself as cider was drunk and innumerable tales were told by my mom; so eager was she to share her enthusiasm for the quirky uniqueness of a place she had shared with my father first and then me, and then my sister a little over 50 years ago today.
I sipped delicately on a Stickley sofa and thought about how justifiably weird life could be. There I was, gazing at a large hearth with an even grander mantel trying to ease back on time; slow things down to an infinitesimal inclination forward. It kind of struck me as ironic that so much of my life, on a day to day basis could be spent rushing; and yet I was hard-pressed to remember what exactly I had been doing a year ago today.What was so important to arrive at, so urgent to move towards….
How much my life has changed in 365 days, and yet, quite fatalistically, I am still sometimes focused on the forward momentum of it all. Somewhat disconnected from the present moment, I can find myself discombobulated, ready to pounce on the negative if possible; just looking for a reason to lean into the fraidy scared, blaming and egotistical wanderings that lead me into a kind of cave of negative thinking that really has no ending and never ever proves itself to be remotely true. I back out quickly with a wink and a nod to the old me.
I’m a lot more willing and able to be completely vulnerable now. In each and every moment I am able to ask myself, “Is this the me I wish to be”? And if it’s not, I can regroup and begin again; remain fresh, open and engaged, wholehearted and true: A hipper saavier sleeker version, unsheathed and unconditionally accepting herself, giant imperfections and all; leaping into a life I could never have even possibly imagined. I’m ready!
So as I stood in the spot where I had lain in my crib 50 years previously, I remembered my father at the end of his life who always stressed good endings to me as being just as important, if not more so, than the beginnings. And I smiled….
And began again!
Big Loving Namaste to all of you tonight most especially my beloved sister Karen, the awesome Bevie, my Dad and my brother Chris.