The Clean Edge of Change

Things do change, maybe even me.

It is the idea of a gradual instant again. The moment, a shift, that comes by living into imperceptible insight.

In one of my wanderings down a rabbit hole of my own recent history, I happened to gaze upon pictures of my old house, the one I left as the perfect and blessed welcome—that physical structure that was both the pinnacle and holder of my vision for a life. Oddly, even with some of the furniture I still sit on every day, the rooms looked like someone else’s, someone older and out of touch. The layout and furnishings seemed so perfect when we lived there for making many people who came to visit feel comfortable. I felt comfortable having them there. However, this time when I looked, I didn’t recognize the welcome or the vision that that place once held for me. Maybe, I have made a slight shift; maybe, I am, even for a moment, living in the present.

I always say I wish people would just drop by so I don’t have to think about getting everything “right” when we have visitors. Just a few days after seeing those pictures, I welcomed another kind of group where I wasn’t at the center. My husband had decided to have an evening work meeting at our home in the hope of easing some tensions in a more hospitable space. I didn’t have to do anything, he said.

The afternoon sun heated up our small living room where I’d taken out tables and pillows and unnecessary ware to make room for chairs from the bedroom, the kitchen, and even the yard to accommodate our guests. That morning, I decided that I would make something for the group to eat after the meeting. I made cookies, a quick bread, and cut up some fruit—all things that I already had on hand. I put the food on the kitchen table.  I put some pitchers of cold water and small glasses right inside the front door.

The dog and I spent the evening in the backyard. It didn’t matter that the food was hastily prepared and served in a menagerie of dishes. It didn’t matter that I had forgotten to buy paper napkins or make coffee or tea. It didn’t matter that we had only a small fan to circulate air or that the windows in our living room didn’t open on this unusually warm day. The cold water was enough.

What happens next is nearly weightless,
The opening where we stand breathless,
On the clean edge of change.      
Carrie Newcomer

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