Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Floating and Anchoring

My family and I are currently caretaking a house in Portland.  We have been here for over three months and have no certain departure date set.  I kind of feel like I'm dipping my toes in the waters of city life, the rest of my body resisting the heavy current, but week by week I'm getting deeper.  The kids are participating in the local Boys and Girls Club, a slightly frightening thing for me.  They are befriending "regular" kids, experiencing summer camps, organized sports, and herd behaviors.  I think it is a good thing for them, but see certain behaviors popping up.  They are super well-behaved out of the house, but once home, attitudes are shifting and I'm seeing more restlessness in them.  Whitman is the one who sometimes states the uniqueness of his life, until now, is a mark against him.  It just takes a moment of group reflection on how lucky he is to of had the experiences of growing up in a anarchist collective house, toured with a gypsy punk band, lived in a tipi community, and most of all have had two parents that love him and care what he does to and puts in his body.  It has been exciting to see the kids weave their way through and process this new world of mainstream social norms, gender roles and Portland culture. Home-schooled families are typically more affluent and exist within a homogenous culture.  We live in a lower income neighborhood, with many different ethnicities and cultures.  Our house has become the flocking ground of the neighborhood kids.  They are curious about our bus, why the kids don't go to school and wide eyed about the amount of instruments hanging on our walls.  This is a new experience and I'm working on listening to the faint wisdoms floating about.
Displacement has been a repeated topic of conversation for our family over the last three years.  We have moved often, experiencing many bio-regions and meeting many people.  Every home that we have created from the ground up has added a depth to my life. I have learned many different ways to live.  I feel confident that we can exist and thrive in most situations, however, I have a desire to find a home, in the mountains where I can let go and not worry about being displaced.  Land ownership, private property, privilege... all these power dynamics leave most human relationships in a pile of knots. It is still unclear to me how I can move forward.  I'm in a bit of purgatory.

Waking to a dream
of mountain home
Words overgrown
and only know by me

Remember this moment
Remember to breathe
Remember this moment
Remember me. 

It has been two weeks since I wrote the above...
I went to a plant meditation last night, working with Madrone, and it became clear to me that moving forward always means having strong roots, shedding the ideas of how you think you should live and letting yourself be vulnerable.  I am feeling less swept away and a little more anchored in myself.

Our new dog Shanty!!!!

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Why no comments?

I remember the Freeborn family well! Angela, Michael, Fair & Whitman. The tipi. The big Oxford dictionary. The play. And the bus, though I haven't seen it.

I envy the freedom you guys enjoy; even though my lifestyle is no less shabby.

Still kayaking, though less active this year.

Re-purposed some thrown-away dimension lumber, and collected some hand-tools.

Portland-Ashland wanderer