Monday, September 7, 2015


We are settling in to the peace of our new home.
The hard work of constant schlep is done: we have moved!

Almost as if to reinforce the right choice to do so,
I read news of someone being stabbed in the neck two blocks away from our old home in downtown
San Jose.
Of yet another homicide a mile away.

I could tell you of the stress that started undoing me, raising a tender young thing in the midst of what had steadily become more violent surroundings.

Of losing some of my eyebrows to it.
Of nights where tension worked its way across my face in tight waves I could not stop.
Of some young party-goer ringing my doorbell wildly near 10 pm ( "Bitch, come OUT! It's time to go!!") and how I melted down 
spectacularly upon closing the door.
Of a stranger trying to climb into my neighbor's kitchen window at 5 am, given away by the crunch of the gravel and scared off by my loud voice a few feet away across the driveway.
The reduced police force in a terrible state of overwork.
Rumors of emergency response times taking upwards of ten minutes or much more.
The crush of unmedicated and unwell transient souls that roamed the streets in need and in pain.

I loved our rental house so much, that ramshackle cottage that saw us through five years of 
city life, but it was clear that raising O put us in a different mindset than
the two young professionals that had moved in childless.

I could never turn off my vigilance and it was wreaking havoc on my body.
Any small noise at night set my heart pounding and kept me up until dawn.
I needed a small town again.
The balm of rolling blonde hills.
I wanted O to grow up with a mom who was well and strong.
As much as I loved city living for a younger version of myself,
I had to admit to the shift of becoming a mother had changed the way I related to 
the outside world.

My second bedroom blue studio is traded for a white-walled garage space
where my workbenches circle around the center point like stones around a campfire.
I'm intimidated by the largeness of the space
and at the same time I am giddy every time I set foot in there.
It's more industrial
and super free
and I can drop molten things on the freshly painted grey concrete floor without fear.

Schmilly and I are pretty sure we'll be building a handsome studio structure in the back yard
after the (hopefully) rainy season passes,
but I want to feel out the garage: maybe I won't want something new after I expand to fill
the space fearlessly.

We are unfurling.
Sitting still with the silence here,
driving the country roads
and looking at the stars that seem to have multiplied 30 miles away from where we rarely saw them.

We are here.
We are here.
All is well



Sybil Ann said...

So very very pleased. I can feel it. Now I simply must get an electrician - you need a special piece. XO (Any particular needs?)

Anonymous said...

mothering is a game changer!
i'm so glad that you were able to make this move!
it took a lot of energy to maintain your oasis of calm in the midst of chaos.
now you can relax into your oasis of calm and use that energy to create more beauty and enjoy your beautiful family.

Joanna DeVoe said...

I had no idea that where you lived had grown so stressful for you! Your photos always look so charming & idyllic, but I'm glad you found some place safer & more peaceful to begin a new chapter! Are you still in California?

pencilfox said...

o so glad....this new house is a blessing, indeed....!


Allisunny S. said...

San Jose gradually got more and more crime-y when their police force crumbled. The house was always my paradise, but what surrounded it was becoming alarming.

Farm and Field said...

I had no idea the stress your beautiful wee family endured! I hope this new home is a place for you all to grow well and strong, in peace, love and abundance.