Home/Away

Squirrels are performing acts of high-wire gluttony outside my window.

Rushing across power lines toward the gigantic oak; knocking down the nuts it has worked so long to grow, rushing across the grass with cheeks blown out.

A thicket pushes against my desk view to the world and trembles with sparrows.

Their smudged bodies cock heads this way and that, tuning in for better reception. They settle on my sill, chattering. When they catch my eye they fly away as if I am about to breach the glass between us.

Cooky greats me at the train, counting the hour, minute and second it arrives; scratching the record on a wad of wrinkled paper as I wonder where he files his data of ten years of trains.

And then I’m on another couch.

At another bar.

Welcomed with love, with grace, with obligation, into homes, businesses, libraries.

Finding my place of settling in a space not my own.

Stretching these new morning kinks, carrying the ‘important’ things on my back.

Tumbleweeds of dried hydrangea heads, browned from the cold, bounce across the frost-hardened ground. The sparrows greet me on the path to my door.

They burst from the hedge, flying as a group – in fear, in search, in everything.

Brunswick, ME

Brunswick, ME

Other People’s Couches

I was inspired today by Grace. That is her entire presence of being, this good soul. And in that spirit I am asking myself to follow through.  To just do, instead of question. That was how I found myself here in the first place. So forgive this jilting re-entry, but here we go:

2014 was rocky. Full of missteps, new adventures, questions, and not too little confusion.

But there is one thing that shines through the slog: the generosity and great heartedness of my community. And their couches. Literally.

Beginning my PhD was tough, not in the least because my home is in Maine, and my school in Boston. So each week I asked for hospitality. For people to take this jumbled mess of books and stress into their homes. And they said yes.

Yes to my banter about Aquinas or Derrida or the twists and turns of the academy. Yes to a disruption in their week, their evening, their routine. Yes to random calls, texts, meet ups, beers and conversations.

What I love about new years is the excuse to give myself a new slate, a new start. The marker may be arbitrary but the outcome can be glorious. So here, amidst a new beginning I want to begin with gratitude, and offer a litany of my saints over the past year:

Bonnie, Smashley, Allison, Pegasi, Eric, Lindsey, KMHC, Kee, Aly, Courtney, Al and Pat, Donna, Megan, Rooster, Lauren, Tony and Sarah, Dave, Blake, Shawn, Em and Kati, Matthew, Remy, Hans, Sarah and Chuck, Tuesday, Jedi, Tim and Annie, John, “Other” Megan, Pete, Newman House, Eden, Craig, the Broadwillies, Mom and Dad, DJ, Melody, Kim, Dan, Banker Jim, Meredith, The Carter Clan, Sara and David, Kay, Sophito, Cooky, Wyatt, Catherine, Spud, and everyone else I have forgotten.

Thank you for everything. For the hugs, the dinners, the music, the laughter, the honesty, the joy, the pho, the drinks, and, of course, the couches.

Alright, 2015. Let’s go.