There’s this sign standing in the snow and it’s in front of our house and a strange feeling comes over me when I realize that it’s actually there, because even though we’ve been talking about it—thinking about it even longer—and even though we’ve informed some of the neighbours, it’s so very out there now and public and it makes us both feel oddly vulnerable.
And it makes me want to soothe the house itself, this house that my daughter and I designed and my husband superintended into being, which has been such a wonderful house for us for thirteen years. But soothe as I might, our relationship to the house is changing, and it’s not the house that’s pulled away, but we, for this is now A House On The Market, and every room is starting to take on a past-tense flavour. I will never have a kitchen like this again, I realized sadly the other day while wiping everything to a shine and removing everything off that five-foot counter and all the adjoining counters too, into drawers and cupboards, because the realty photographer was coming to take photos for the listing and this is what was required, this determined removal of our own specificity within the house, this leaving it open for the imaginations of others. Never like this again, I thought, with a five-foot work area instead of the sink in front of a window as has traditionally been done because there was once a time when one stood in front of the sink a lot, doing dishes, but nowadays we have dishwashers so I wanted the light and view while cooking and baking….
And so the thoughts roamed as I tidied from room to room, removing as much evidence as possible that we in particular dress and undress and relax and read and eat and work in this place, in order to posit that someone else easily could. Trying in this flurry of cleaning surfaces and hiding things to compose rooms for maximum light and spaciousness. Though the light hardly needs maxing up, this place is wonderful for light since the main rooms of our daily living face south or east, which means they wear the sun’s love and power and shifting moods on their sleeves all day. (My office is a room facing north, however, which is important too, because the light is steadier, less distracting.) Really, it’s the light that should be highlighted on the sign instead of the heated, insulated shop, but realtors know best, they know what sells.
It’s all part of a plan, or maybe I should say, intention, that sign. We will see what happens. (More to come here, as it unfolds.) It involves vulnerability, as I said, and quite a bit of emotion. Excitement, expectation, yes. But also uncertainty. Which involves fear. Some weeks ago I was struck, while hearing the gospel story of the transfiguration, by the phrase they [the disciples] were afraid as they entered the cloud. I heard this and said, Me too.
Sometimes saying so helps. So here I am again, after something of a hiatus in posting, which more or less just happened in the busyness of various projects and assignments and starting to break up with a beloved house.