Saturday, August 15, 2015
I consume houses like snack foods.
Not the houses themselves, but exteriors, interiors, landscapes, you name it. I nibble on ideas for my own humble abode as I scan magazines and the internet for homes, one nicer and more enticing than the one seen before it.
I'm crazy about places to call home and can't seem to get enough. A psychologist would have a field day. They could say I'm looking for roots, a place that would satisfy some inner urgings, maybe even yearnings for a big house like my grandmother had. I've moved 26 times and anticipate moving again at some point. My fascination has only grown with the more places I've called home.
I had to put the brakes on recently because I was all ready to move again and just had to say, for now, stop--you're just not allowed. A voice was admonishing me with a stern reminder that there are others to consider besides myself, and it wasn't my resident felines. I am a writer and as such, I have an obligation to characters waiting patiently to settle into the homes I've created for them--homes being the Temptation of Christ Catholic Parish rectory and the school-turned-condos that sits on the parish grounds. Those people can't live with uncertainty. They can't possibly have their households on hold. I would be remiss if I had them do that, hanging my head in shame in my role as creative landlord.
Many years ago, right at the time I was supplying articles for the local paper, I took a writing workshop. One of the exercises was to create a scene with which to start a story or novel. I had a woman getting off a bus, suitcase in one hand, the other clasping at her collar--a nervous gesture as she began her walk down a country road. A young boy popped out of the trees and shrubs lining the fence. She looked over at him. He smiled and said, "Hi, I knew you was comin'!"
As far as I know, the woman is still standing on that dirt road and I feel terrible. I don't have time now to get her to her destination. She might just have to wait another thirty years to get some direction, to find those answers as to how the boy knew. It's a shame. Maybe I can get another author to adopt her and, let's not forget, the boy.
At this point, I guess I need to see to unfinished business, settle down and concentrate on the creative demands of what I have set for myself and quit dreaming. Quit lusting after homes and pining for real heart pine. I need to file those ideas away for now, promising to return.
Not leave them to gather dust on a country road.
~ Julie Ross Mackenzie