*Please note: This piece is raw, unedited and real. I don’t wish to edit it although a friend instructed me to do so. I feel that defeats the purpose of the piece. It’s personal. It’s as real as I can get right now on a public blog. And for reasons that have to do with my gender experience [to differentiate, and to be biased] and because I choose to do so. I am leaving myself open to be judged and so on. I was advised to call the piece Homing Better and if I was writing a memoir, perhaps I’d do so but I am not. This is a blog. My blog and this is how I feel. Enjoy. No one’s life is without pain; we are all fraught with difficulties. Some more than others. Perhaps in 2 years I won’t ever do this again–heart on sleeve. But its where I am at. Now.
We all know the mystery of time. That it exists at all is an entity of the mind. And here, today, NOW, I blog into a vortex of timelessness about the past two years of my life in my home. This home in mid-town City of Toronto, the neighbourhood of Hillcrest [St. Clair & Bathurst] near Wychwood Barns, near the Artscape Centre, which I have not frequented much, of late. I love this neighbourhood. It’s wrapped me up in love with a denizen of fellow friends, publishing houses and poets in the area. However, the wrapping came albeit karma wise perhaps. I like to think so. Two years before my arrival I applied for housing CASH. Yes, mental health housing, which put me on a waiting list as a single woman poor suffering from homelessness, depression and post-traumatic disorder. I was fortunate to find a studio apartment in the west end as I had requested, in supportive housing. In a wonderful neighbourhood. The building I am in, you wouldn’t know it from the outside, is inhabited by women. There are 14 apartments and we are all housed and run under the name of the building, which is owned by Street Haven at the Crossroads non profit support for women in need since 1965. There is a plaque on my door, which reads, for St. Michael [the archangel] to oversee this building. There are benefits to the notion of ‘Christian’ afterall, I suppose. My home here since Nov 15, 2010 [I just turned 36 then] has saved my life from becoming a disastrous tragedy. I have managed to complete publication of my first official poetry book, ‘Exaltation in Cadmium Red’, resume making payments to outstanding loans, continue with the possibility of getting work part-time or full and the possibility of resuming studies online with UBC Creative Writing program. I have managed to carve out a nest with well-painted, warm-coloured walls. I have brought all my furniture left in other places and all my belongings into one space in order to situate them into some design. I have purged things and acquired some newer things. I’ve settled in so well. I feel blessed and that yes, St. Michael is here. That the church next to me, although, Anglican, there continues to be, somehow a connectedness that transcends difference in religious institution but rather opens itself up to the love and light and gratitude and peace, serenity and joy of a better, more loving quality of life, within these very walls. This is my home, from which I have been able to re-visit my past in the Now, safely, differently. Here, I continue to live with the Now and grieve. Home is where all griefs are met. Where the soul rests and looms itself into a greater weave–also where it expands and spreads out its wings until they no longer fit. The past two years I have seen the death of shadows and the growth of love. I have question myself continuously in reflection over the past twelve or so years and what my accomplishments have been as well as my failures. Here I have had the opportunity to really rest and make peace with myself, my choices and I have been able to watch myself grow into a more accomplished version of self. My individual has expanded. My heart has calmed itself. My anger subsided and my responsibility to self, vocation and other increased. I’m amazed at all the things I carry in my home. The kitchen. The Sleeping and Living area, where reading and entertainment and rest are all one. The Bathroom. The closet spaces. The working space/desk space. How the laundry is comfortably downstairs. There are no bugs–not yet anyway. Everything is clean and I feel peaceful cozy and safe. I don’t have a pet but I’m working on that. Two years and better friends. Two years and more comfort. Two years and a book. A certification in spinning. Support and help for Quattro Books. Wordstage Reading Series. Two years and good food. Merry times. Plays. Drink. Parties. Relationships. Two years and an ODSP plan and a program for better sustained self actualization. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Home. Street Haven. CASH. Madison Community Services. For getting myself the help that I so importantly needed to get for myself. This is all past. Today, I am rearranging my space, continuously purging because it is small. Today, I am seeking to make room for the new. The Potential is apparent in my usual daily tasks and moving around the space. In my Room of One’s Own I rummage, I putter about, I clean, I depress, I rest, I decompress, I grieve, I wander among old and move into new now. There is nothing but a series of nows. This now of the 2nd year I am exhausted and stunned. There is much more to come. I am apprehensive more so than excited. I wonder what and how. I see all around me that needs to be restructured — the excess matter of the space must perish, be disintegrated. It will be 2013 soon. I look forward to making more room within the room. Of getting some better furniture to go with the space. To getting a new bed. A new armoire. A shampooed rug. To varnishing my really $cheap ikea pine table. To putting up my Christmas decorations. To starting 2013 off with a new more positive outlook on health! on education, on work, on writing, on publishing, on poetry, on living larger. On loving larger. On homing better.