Friday, July 10, 2015

Building a House So My Soul Has a Place to Stay When It Comes Home

Many friends ask why I spend summers working on a house in the boonies of northern New Mexico. The pat answer, one that satisfies because it is something that most can understand, is that it will be a "retirement home."

But that does not really get at the heart of why I am doing such a thing. There are psychological dynamics at work that are hard to convey in polite small talk. Those reasons run deep.

Before I go there though, I have to say that I don't know what or why, exactly, I am doing this. I just am because it is there and I can. The reasons are revealing themselves as the project progresses. What emerges later may give more insight than I have at present.

So, a long time ago, I was asked to put my playful little kid on the shelf. Because my father went off to fight wars and I was the oldest boy, I was the "man of the house." Of course, I wasn't really, but I was in that role anyway. I needed to find out how to do things like fix leaky sinks and change flappers in toilet tanks. I also served as a kind of confidant for my mother.

My role felt more "adult" than kid.

All of this is subtle, but I forgot how to just play and be creative, imaginative. I pushed a now angry little kid into the shadows of the psyche.

Fast forward about fifty years, and I am now crippled by depression and anger and need to get off the work treadmill.

The house represents a place where I can begin to woo that crazy aspect of myself back home. It will take some time and some quiet and patience. I may have to sit on the deck and sing sad songs to the changing light on the rocks in the back yard.

But I think he might hear me. And, if he comes back, we might have some things to talk about, some peace after all these years.


  1. I love this, and the strawberry tablesaw picture is perfect!

    1. Thanks Misch. I think of you often in this process of breaking open, breaking down, and breaking heart. The gentler parts of us take such a beating in this life. I wish it were easier, but without the heartbreak, the openings wouldn't have the poignancy that they do. You keep growing my dear friend. You are an inspiration.

  2. Erec, this is beautiful...I was thinking of you this morning. Been listening to podcasts, a wonderful thing to do whilst working on other things, amongst them your soul work. I heard this one podcast that made me think of you and other people who choose to always grow, bloom and blossom at all life stages...the process never ending but continual, we are delusional if we think there is a point of arrival...anyhow I've been hooked on these podcasts on Sounds True Insights on the Edge, the producers picks give you a taste of the longer sessions. The one I listened to this morning was called Entering the Second Half of Life...which if you listen to it, has nothing to do with a chronological second half, but with awakenings that can come at any time...Enjoy: