Fetal Position


I’m homeless. Not in a cardboard sign, sleep on the street kind of way, but still homeless. Once a week I search the new rental listings printed in miniscule type on both sides of a real estate flier, but Southern California listings give me pause. The rentals are three times what I paid in Oregon.I have not worked in a month and don’t know when I will again. Still, I trudge forward knowing that this passage is not just an act of determination and will, but also a deeply felt destiny.

My son Clay and his lady Khrystyne have taken me in, so shelter and comfort are provided. But I have already stayed too long, putting both feet in the center of their lives, when all I intended was to touch down lightly.

Each day I struggle to stay positive and upbeat, but often I am immobilized by fear – the reality of my situation landing hard and raw on the uncertain landscape of my heart. At these times, demons spring from the shadows to rage and throw fireballs of negative thoughts across my weakness.

“You have no home,” they tell me. “You belong no where. You are not working. Nobody knows you. How will you survive? Where is your life partner? Why have you always been such a solo act, so extremely independent and alone? Everyone else your age is settled, yet you are untethered.”

These thoughts find me between wake and sleep, lodging my spirit in unreality, but I refuse to let them own me. They are the underbelly of my experience, feelings that catch me when I am fragile and unguarded. Some people soothe themselves through such times with alcohol, sex or drugs, but my medicine has always been movies, lots of wonderful imaginings to distract and calm a troubled mind.

Yet most of the time I feel excited, strong, brave and resolute. I like the person I am becoming because she has thrown off the stagnation of an unworthy life and is open – wide open to embracing new people, places, ideas and possibilities. Other’s like this new me also, but what’s more important is that I like her.

I can make myself crazy if I think of the years I wasted being crippled to joy, but I don’t want to. Instead, I pull myself up each day and make the phone calls and check the rental lists and connect with people I have never met, with the idea of enlisting them in my search and building future friendships.

Yep! This may be one of the most difficult things I’ve done – cutting away a 40 year history – and it is going much much slower than I had hoped, but I am doing it, one breath at a time, one step at a time.

And any day now, I will land and root, find my people, my clients and my teachers. Maybe even become prosperous and travel with a companion who can open my world a little wider. Maybe I’ll learn to splash paint on a canvas, laugh until my belly hurts and love from a deeper, more whole place in myself.