We all have parents or at least a “parental figure” in our lives. Some of us know ours well, others I’m sure never met theirs. There are those who have lived with them a majority of their lives and still have only the superficial understandings of who their parents might be. It’s all part of this wonderful thing we call life, knowing, not knowing, understand, confusion. We as humans live for this to some extents, with many other distractions and things to enjoy as well of course. Personally, my parents were together, not always happy, but tried their best (as far as I know) to be the parents they wanted to be for my siblings and I. We ran into problems, disruptions and so on, like any family. Where we differ to some and fall into similarities with others may be in some of their…choices, actions and ways of living so to speak.
My mother has brought six children through the light and onto planet Earth, a pair of children with three different men. Most of my mothers children weren’t born in hospitals, she had a sister or two of mine in bathtubs, but she gave birth to most in the comfort of her own homes. The way she wanted to, natural and with an in home specialist of her choosing. My father had two children, my closest sister by age and myself, with my mother. He also had a pair of children with another woman. So in total, my immediate family started with seven sisters, myself and my parents. There have been a few additions and a loss here and there in the twenty four years since I have been part of this family as well. The loss was of one of the sisters in our family, Lacie, she passed away earlier this year(2018) from an epileptic seizure. She had been batting with epilepsy for most of her life, the worst of it coming the year before her death, it hurts to say it because she loved her two children with all her heart, but she is in a better place now. She can be with her children everyday now. As for the next generation, In total, currently I’m blessed with three blooded nephews, six blooded nieces, and a nephew by marriage, who were all born in hospitals. Now that we have all that information, onto the story.
On the note of my mothers unconventional birthing situations; she so graciously gave birth to me in comfort of the house I would later grow up in, live in after my parents moved to a new house, then wake up in during a fire that became a total loss. With that said, coming from a family of eight siblings, I was the youngest of them all. Born in 1994 myself, with an average of a two to three years between us all. My parents didn’t always have custody of all their daughters so during childhood I mainly lived with three of my closest sisters, with the older ones coming to stay at times or being seen at family events and such. The earlier years of my life and my siblings were spent fairly normal for lower-middle class Americans, we played outside, went to family Holiday gatherings, and every so often traveled to somewhere neat when expenses were in order. We had a pool, not the greatest house, but one my father had built by hand over the years and was very proud of, about 5 acres of land to explore with a lot of state land surrounding the area. The setting was never and will never be anything to complain about, it will actually come up later on.
On the darker side of things, my parents were quite…rough at times. With my mother being from the hippie tribe and my father from the biker/mechanic tribe, there was conflicts here and there for reasons I may never know, but they happened. They also were huge party people, I don’t have enough appendages on my body to count all the times the 10ft bonfire pit in our front yard was surrounded by a countless numbers of rowdy, drunken, middle aged middle class Americans looking to forget for a night that this world is fucked up in ways. Maybe it was the place to let loose and have a good time, there are a lot of characters from those times that are still around this day, it’s nice to have history and a childhood with history that carries into the present, to some extent. As a child of that environment though, hearing my parents beat each other up, tear up the house, storm off and drive away, most while being intoxicated, it has an effect to who you grow up to be.
This place, this property’s history with me, having been literally born in the house my family lived in for the first 18 years of my life and would later see burn down here. Having experienced summers with relatives staying here, parties all the time, it seemed to be a place that people could come escape into themselves for a while. Forgetting the external and unconditional, maybe this is a product of my own perception, everyone else has history elsewhere for the most part. But all these things and more, have always brought me back in times of contemplation or confusion, brought me comfort when life had no reason or meaning, gave me a place to feel like I can exist without the effect of the greater world at hand and without judgment or ignorance. I have always felt like the only one really bound or tied to the eternity of the ground here, maybe it’s the birthplace connection that I can’t break free from or that when connected to our places of birth in life, our souls truly have a place of freedom or grounding. I’m searching for answers as much as I’m looking for serendipity in these explanations.
Noting on the house fire, which happened in 2013, before that I had never lived anywhere else. I had stayed with my partner at times of disagreements with my father or mother. But that was home and more up until then, when it became my own place, after my parents moved, I felt like I could extend the experience of serenity to others. Give opportunity for people to forget who they thought they had to be, exist for the moment and not for the future. That happened for a while, but became a problem and needed to end anyway. After the fire I left this property for the first time, now I had traveled to Florida as a kid and New York as a 6th grader. It wasn’t as if I had never left, just had never lived elsewhere. When the settlement came from the fire, I traveled out of state to live with a sister, that lasted 17 days and I was back. Lived with a friend and then again with my partner for a while, but whenever things became stressful or I needed a place to sleep in my car, I would come back to my fathers property, back to where my first home was. It always felt welcoming and as if time stood still here, the earth changed with time, but the feeling it presented was always there.
As I bounced around the west side of my home state for a year or two, lived with a couple other friends, it was relevant that there was something about home, something about that property that was bringing me closer. The farther I traveled the less of myself I get present. I started to see traits of people I’d spend time with become part of myself, tendencies transfer to my being. It was as if, by stretching farther from my home ground, I was stretching farther from my soul, leaving behind who I was to try and be things I am not. Maybe that is part of human experience, maybe it is something we are supposed to do or people like to do. I’m not one to understand the elements to everyone’s experience and perception, but for myself, I was being pulled towards my home every time I moved to get closer to my core being and farther from the existentialism I was finding away from it.
Snap to about a year and a half ago, I was evicted from the residence I was living at. Honestly for reasons I am still unaware of, I paid rent, sometimes a day or two late, I was always social, during hard and unfortunate times I resorted to the confines of my room, this is true, but I didn’t feel as though I was of the “needed to be evicted” category, but that is neither here nor there. The past is there for a reason and we can look to it for answers if we please I suppose. That’s not what I am going for. A bit before the eviction I had spent some time at my old home, the property, stay a few nights there in the hunting cabin that was previously my fathers motorcycle storage and barn. I had felt some sort of peace for the first time and had thoughts of what it would be like to live out there again, rough it so to speak. Well that thought right there, would become the clearest example of “be careful what you wish for” in my experience.
Pending the eviction I didn’t have money saved, didn’t have a place to go or anywhere to crash. But I knew there was a cabin my dad used for hunting on the old property, this became my new home. Consisting of my tv, couch and coffee table, a wood stove, a mini fridge, two handmade wall hung beds and a little propane stove, I was roughing it you could say. There is cold water on the outside of the place, no shower and an outhouse about…100-150 yards away from the shelter. Oh, and a river exactly a half mile to the west, follow a trail or two and you are there, it’s nice, there’s a camping spot as well back there. Aside from all that, my father had a chicken coop and that was it. At first it was stressful, irritatingly full of spiders and bugs, mice and shrews. It was very hard to adjust, even though I had wish for this at the time. Nevertheless, when you see your life become something you never imagined, always see you home become something you never imagined, there is a bit of internal conflict that is dealt with and sometimes never taken care of.
When that conflict would resolve, peace would enter the mind, I could remember where I was. Home. The property. Where my life began, it didn’t matter if I was in a cabin, it didn’t matter if I was living this way. I was at peace. Simplicity can really teach you how easy and carefree life can be when you leave behind certain conveniences. It was a situation I knew other people were experiencing and were striving to experience, living a simpler life in a tiny house. Knowing that helped me through a lot of anxiety and depression, the first winter was hard, cold and a very new experience. But it was knowing that other people had done this in worse conditions and that I was at home, if anything happened to me, I would rest where I began. All of that made it possible to get through the isolation and loneliness that followed living here. I had company, for sure, but for me, I felt isolated from a lot of what people were experiencing in the world outside of my situation.
Aside from the contents of my experience living back on the property I had tried to get away from, there lies the understandings I have gained. This property is more than a safe haven for my core being to reside at when avoiding the responsibilities of society, it is more than my homestead and the place where most of my family grew up or spent time. It’s more than just a little chunk of property. It’s a home, a zen garden, a place to escape, a place to relax, a cemetery now for my beloved sister and a place for my dad to come back to as well. But more than that, for myself, it has been a place to contemplate my existence, think about the past and what I want my future to look like. It became a burial ground for the parts of myself that are no longer needed, a birthplace for internal resolutions and spiritual findings. It’s life, for me, but also death to all the things I could be and won’t be.
I say, could be, in context to another dark side of all of this. Attachment and entitlement. Although I can distort reality around me to find peace and these serendipities in my experiences and understandings. There lies a black truth to it all, I am here to run away from my problems, if I wasn’t so tied to my roots, my birthplace, if this wasn’t here I would be forced to face life first hand. Not with the comfort of a rent free, simple tiny home life style that is easy to manipulate and convolute into bliss. I am not saying I am not happy here, on my property, but I see an underlying factor that has recently been pushing me to make changes. I am attached to this place, so much so that it inhibits my ability to grow as an individual, in great ways. Small patents of growth have happened mentally and internally, but not physically and monetarily, like what is necessary to succeed in life in America. I was full of entitlement when I came here because of my birth and history here, I still feel a sense of worth, as though no one else understands the ties I have here and how it feels like ripping off skin to live elsewhere. But these are delusions, made up excuse to exist here. Yes there is a peace and comfort to getting through the unfortunate aspects of all of this, there is love in my system for being home. I can explain the past, the beauty of its history to me, but it doesn’t take away the lack of progression I have gained in my time here, the lack of confidence it has created, the lack of awareness of the world I have found by separating myself to this extent.
When you find yourself falling back into your roots, your past or your birthrights. Know it can be a form of entrapment to the core of your childhood in ways. Many adults deal with miss understood feelings and emotions, many can’t even talk about what brings them down for so many different reasons. It develops into problems and disassociation, depression and so much more. Being able to address the past or the things you value from it can be beneficial and progressive, but some of us, the weaker ones, fall into its traps. I have been living in stasis on this beautiful property for almost two years now, only in the past few months have I made any real progress other than being able to contemplate things on a much deeper level. I have fallen behind in many aspects of life and it will take longer than my time here to resolve all the issues. It is a blessing in ways and a barrier in others, but in the end it is what I am experiencing and I would rather dive into the realities I perceive, than continue distracting myself with everything the world offers. The truth hurts, we all know this, I ran from it for years, now I face it, I face change and enlightenment on greater levels than internal, lonely levels. I seek life, not a dormant, reclusive one, but an expressive, exciting one.
This has been a recollection of many contemplations I have had for some time, a rant in ways of my experiences and a very long message about my truth in falling into my roots when I had no where else to go. Thanks you for your time. I know mine has been full of relief.
SF. – 08-10-2018