Saturday, June 25, 2011

Our Old House

Six months ago there was a house here.  Our house.

Not ours because we owned it, but ours because we were at home there.  We rent.

Yesterday we drove by, to find a patch of dirt, picked at by crows.  No liquidambar tree. No European ash.  And certainly no white, crumbly, post-war two-bedroomer.

Sophia, who lived most of her life in 'our old house', was upset.  She wanted to know when they'd rebuild it. She was close to tears.

I was not as upset as she.  But I realised how much of my present situation was dependent on my past: holding on to a vision of 'old house', in contrast to the new.  The reality of my current home was affirmed by the reality - solid, reliable, tangible - of the old one.  I was retaining it in the present as past, to make sense of the present.

Suddenly, that solid contrast has gone, along with its olive trees, barf green walpaper and asbestos garage.  I'm left with just my memory.  And I'm reminded: it was memory all along

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