Sunday 20 June 2021

New Home

DC and I have moved house! We now live in an extraordinary house and to be honest I think we're both trying to take it in - we have bought this huge five year old house with cathedral like high spaces, a huge expanse of glazing opening on to a wrap around balcony with stunning views up the valley in which it sits on an elevated site. A main road is only just visible from the house and whilst I've fretted terribly since we put in our offer on the house about if it will be too noisy in practice it seems not to intrude too much. So concerned was I about the road noise during our viewings - listening to see how loud it was both inside and outside - that the reverberation of the internal spaces escaped me. Our real challenge noise wise seems to be finding ways to damp down the acoustic. For DC the house is quite literally a dream come true. He had a dream in which a house like this - a modern house with internal and external balconies and a mezzanine of some kind featured decades ago before we ever met and he loved it the moment we stepped inside. For me any house move triggers enormous anxiety. Leaving my nest to go to a new one I've not been fully involved in making and thus not fully in control and knowing all the ins and outs of is even by anyone's standards a distressing business. And (inevitably I suppose) even though I researched the house and the move quite thoroughly before we committed to it, once actually in things come to light which throw me into paroxysms of fear. Having committed so much hard come by financial wealth into the purchase and hardly able to believe that we've actually somehow been able to accrue this wealth by frugality and good fortune, I'm terrified that it's all going to go horribly wrong and we'll end up destitute. These are old wounds. Childhood trauma from home moves and struggles to make ends meet when my parents had very little money and problems with the cost of timber decay and such like, mortgage interest rates and the perilous financial situation of the nation in the 1970's (and later 80's) coupled with school change, the ill health and death of relatives overwhelmed a sensitive child who had always seen the fragility of things. So whilst I see all the amazing things this house has to offer I'm also dealing with a frightened inner child and a pragmatic and pessimistic inner engineer who sees the pitfalls and problems. My OCD has given way to the more basic traumas at its root and at times the tasks of turning this house into a home seem obscured in a dense and debilitating brain fog. And where in all this is my true home - that indestructible part of us, the glass (of awareness / being ) that is not wet by the water (of experience) and yet is not separate from it? Well my meditation both on and off the cushion is full of thought and emotion, the body-mind is tight, tired and scattered. The smooth centred calm awareness and intimacy with the stillness of which everything is cut through are but a vague longing in the storm. And yet... they do not go completely. As much as I understand that life is change, that we emerge out of change I nonetheless have always found disruption of the familiar ways and environs unsettling. Some folk I'm led to believe relish it. I dislike it. I find change for its own sake, such as clothing fashions irksome. I want to go and buy the same trainers, T-shirts, jeans, underwear etc. to replace worn out ones. I find it irritating to find an item nominally the same but a slightly different fit - I look at the labels - the country of manufacture has changed and so the cut is altered... ugh. I recognise this sounds autistic. It's not, believe me (as DC says - he's not autistic he's just rude -but that's another story...). I think I'm just sensitive to my environment and have a little too much need to feel in control... What's that about? At bottom it comes back to seeing the fragility of things - their made-ness, their dependant origination, their emptiness. And yet there's also that in me which doesn't want to be the same, stuck, not growing, not alive, but which knows that however much I seek perfection and want to attain it and stay there, safe - the pendulum settled nicely in the middle - there is no life in this. A stopped pendulum is of no use. And so I observe my reactions, give myself time to calm, engage with things in manageable chunks and try to respond to each moment as best I can. We're in a fantastic space and yes there are some issues and I've got really triggered but I'm not that little boy anymore. The karma of his experiences roll on, the ripples and eddies merging with others.

DC and I enjoy a little TV at the end of the day and at weekends a movie. We've not got a TV space settled and set up in this new house yet but my study was originally set up (by the previous owners) as a cinema room. We've kept that and now have this multi-functional space with comfy chairs and it's proven to be like being at the movies, but just with the two of us! Last night we watched A Moment in the Reeds. There's much I could say about this movie but what seems most salient is the the question that it caused to arise in me about the nature of being or rather the way love brings the stillness and movement of being into harmony. As in any story of falling in love there are the obvious questions - is being in love anything more than a mix of projection, a measure of co-dependency and lust fuelling and fuelled by a surge in brain chemicals? Is there balance in the relationship and the situation etc.? Actually, I'm not sure we can ever know the answers to those questions but irrespective there is a movement, a force which is present in such relationships and it is of immense importance. Ultimately there is a bringing into being aspects of ones self hitherto unopened and this at the same time generates a deeper stillness in being. There is I feel a measure of resolution of the paradox of our situation (we are both separate and completely intertwined with everything and everyone) and at some level we feel it deeply. DC and I have been together now for almost thirty years and whilst we were never 'madly in love' we were from the start I think deeply connected in a very gentle way. And just now we're feeling our connection, closeness and warmth quite strongly. This isn't a claustrophobic, in each others pockets kind of thing but rather an open supportive field.

Both DC and I have noted and commented upon the stillness that is present in our new house. Yes there are acoustic issues to settle and we're still feeling into the spaces and getting a sense of how to live in them but there is a sense that this house has a great deal of potential for both creativity and calm. I think our task is to bring a harmony to the spaces. And watching the movie last night something about the harmony of movement and stillness and the action of love seemed to resonate with me and point to the nature of making this house a home.