Thursday, September 2, 2010

Finding Your Place

Unexpected Home

Addicts, alcoholics, cockroaches, broken refrigerators everywhere, a half-finished fire pit, and PBR cans in the parking lot, I never wanted to move here. I certainly didn’t plan on staying. Somehow, though, this crumbling brick building has become the sweetest home I’ve ever had.

During the worst three months of my life, this small kitchen has held me tightly in her arms. The porch has rested faithfully beneath my broken body, my broken mind, and my cigarette butts. Here I took my final blows from God, others, and myself before I finally fell, face sobbing into the bathroom floor. August ended sweetly, and in her last moments, she woke me up at 4:43 a.m. and told me “That’s enough.”

[Healing] Even though I had lost everything, the next morning still came, and there were eggs. Salted eggs and coffee. And later that day there were beautiful people in the chairs next to me. [Quiet]

You will find your place when you sit still enough to see, when you sit so still the moon can’t find you, when you notice the sweetness of the sidewalk and the stupid cat, when you see the people around you so closely you hear their hearts breaking and the words that they are saying, when you pause to hold their hands, to wash their feet, and pass one minute at a time.

You will find your place when you let go just long enough to let the place you’re in hold you. Let it cultivate your heart. Even if it’s just one small plant. The Virginian has sowed a small cherry tomato plant in my heart, I think.

The first fruit, it came at summer’s end.

I know this won’t be my place forever, but I will always believe that I belonged to these bricks, for a time. In her dying days, I hope The Virginian will remember me.

The days here were drenched with significance, and they will be until I close the patio door, pack my coffee pot, and leave to find another kitchen.


  1. i read this a few days ago and i couldn't stop thinking about it. i came back this morning and read it again. i love it. your appreciation for the space that nurtures you is quietly powerful and will stay with you your entire life. i had a place like this at a time in my life very similar to what you describe. you've made me remember it kindly in all it's ugly glory.

  2. Lisa,

    Thank you so much! I am so glad you enjoyed that post. I have been trying to articulate my feelings about the Virginian for weeks now. I believe that space is sacred, and it shouldn't be ignored.

    I like your phrase "ugly glory."