See me herewith trying with difficulty to follow my own advice… Not to worry as worrying does not help (“not going to add a day to [my] life”), and furthermore ask myself : what is this shit-we’re-in actually good for ?
We have just one month left to have moved out of the house we have been living in for the last 4,5 years and so far have found nowhere else to go. We need : salubrious (comfortable even—we survived 11 years of designed squalor in a badly built jumped-up shed and we now actively love ourselves more), affordable, and in the vicinity of the children’s school. I am looking forward to the change that the universe has in store for us, what we will learn about ourselves in the process but in this in-between-waiting/hoping-stage I might as well admit that I am battling with fear. Existential fear sits in the kidneys. Bringing this to my awareness helps the energy to flow and not bring trouble/disease. What do I learn : I go for a brisk walk with my two children and I realize, we three are alive together, healthy, we can jump fences, go through windows, walk around obstacles, we’ll be all right. The shit we’re in has a taste of freedom if we can stop running with the fear. What do I learn : our roots, like those of the bare-root trees one can buy and plant in the colder months, can survive temporarily in a bag tied at the base to ensure the wind does not dry them, or else “trenched temporarily into any spare piece of ground until you can move them to their permanent site.”* What do I learn ? there is no permanence and it is a good thing, learning keeps you alive and in motion. What do I learn ? my life is with me, even when all its earthly components are shaken, questioned or on hold.
Truth be told, moving is not a joyous perspective for the hoarder in me. I am an immigrant, my books (52 m of bookshelves made out of rough wood), my things are my memories, the memories I knit for myself and my children. It is a particularly cruel time when I have to cast a cold eye on the strange and potentially valueless stuff I lovingly collect and keep and wonder if it will really deserve to be packed and moved (mental issue ? art !). A jar housing the stalks of most pears I have eaten in the last 7 years or so ? Cut out plastic windows from the business envelopes I receive ? Bones ? Carefully collected circular things ? I used to joke that I, a lover of rusty metal, may have been brought onto this earth to house discarded objects, but these days I decide that I—and my two young people—deserve to be safely housed too (safe from the whim of those who own houses in a country that does not protect… value… respect… tenants in the least), and I’d like to bestow this as a basic right to all humans if I may…
There is a postcard on my fridge that says that women “earn just 10% of the world’s income and own less that 1% of the world’s property” and I, a woman, “own” 4.8 acres of land that I farm, and where many bare rooted trees have been planted and will not have to move (although there are a couple of hazels I will dig up and transplant soon, for their own benefit). Perhaps in the soil is where our symbolic roots are kept moist and alive even when we’re not sure where our next bed will be. Perhaps in the soil, even when you don’t “own” land or even a spade is where all of our human roots are kept moist and alive until you find somewhere to welcome you, it needn’t necessarily be a “permanent site” for us moveable bideps but it sure needs to be secure in some way.
- advice sent at delivery by my favourite supplier of the most lovingly packaged trees, future forests.
p.s. something I just found on Poor as Folk, echoing a rant of mine earlier today…
via Community Tenants Union. The general idea here is that housing is a basic human right and people NEED housing (… ) Renters are highly exploited to benefit others and that shouldn’t happen. Community Tenants Union explains in the comments, too : “I think the point is that people shouldn’t have to rent. Creating a market for housing means that people get rich off what should be provided as a basic need.”