I've been pretty quiet these last few weeks. I haven't had the time, energy or money to gad about in my usual happy-go-lucky manner. My little Sony Cyber-Shot went bunk and I haven't been able to document my life and times in pictures as I used to do. Lord knows when I'll be able to buy a new camera. Winter was mild enough this year and now spring has quickly come and gone. All of a sudden, it's summer. The days are longer and the lights are ON! I can see everything clearly now, and I am not liking what I see. However, a long lost memory was awakened and now a little sense of it all has been made. It seems that I am one of the original Boxcar Children. Sort of. The Boxcar Children was a book I had read when I was very young...maybe seven or eight years-old. The story was so integral to my life and felt so real to me that I know that once upon a time I was a boxcar child. Today, I have grown up to become a boxcar woman.
Why did I suddenly remember reading this book by Gertrude Chandler Warner about four children who turn a boxcar into their home? How is that I remembered every little detail of the book regarding the struggle and pain of taking junk yard scraps and trying to make some beauty out it? Remembering this book, I vividly recall that the best times I ever had as a kid was decorating my private bedroom and the house around it by trash-picking or rearranging my mother's furniture! It's what brought me the greatest amount of joy...playing a weird kind of "house"! I used to go out into my parent's backyard all alone in the winter and make ice "forts", complete with rooms and windows! I really could feel a familiar presence in that cold isolation. In the warmer months, I made goofy houses out of pieces of corrugated and in the make believe "kitchen", I made "salads" out of green things I found sprouting about the yard. Once, when our dirt road was getting paved, I sat inside one of these giant sanitation sewer pipes and covered my arms with mud, pretending I was wearing "long black gloves"! It seems I am drawn to the stories of my past lives and the wonders that should have been. I do have a longing.
If any of you have ever watched the HBO series Game of Thrones, that show will give you an example of what one of my past lives was like; the essence of which was trying to make beauty and comfort out of the harsh climates and hostile struggles in those magical medieval days. I did not like this particular life in the least. In fact, my allergies to horses, farm animals and livestock is a direct result of the abhorrent feeling I had toward bloodshed, killing and war. I know now that I must live in peace and comfort. I cannot abide chaos anymore.
Another of my past lifetimes is the one that is giving me the most trouble of all and that was when I was an Egyptian Oracle, seer and psychic, living in great splendor and beauty. I was once a mystic goddess. I thrived in absolute cleanliness surrounded by the sea. I walked on spotless shining white marble floors covered in silk thread carpets. Pedestals filled with beautiful flowers and feather fans were placed symmetrically in the room and ornate pillars stood tall. And then there was me, in my perfect past lifetime, dressed in flowing, gossamer gowns, gold jewelry, my dark hair pulled back tight against my scalp. I am that Oracle and I want that life again. But alas, I have come back in this lifetime as a boxcar child, doomed to pay back some karmic debt by knowing of that which I miss and want so much, and knowing I'll probably never attain it. I seem to be doomed to living in a dump in a crap neighborhood surrounded by blight and despair. I don't think Grandpa Alden or anyone charming is coming to the rescue. I think it may be too late for me to even try to do it on my own.
To sum it up, every place I have ever lived has been a dump that I have moved into and made beautiful, like the kids in the boxcar. Every single place from my first apartment on Wayne State's Prentis Street to the one in "The Haight" in San Francisco, to my apartment in New York City, to a double-wide mobile home on five acres in Florida, and everywhere else in between. I move into crummy dives and when I leave, I've improved them and turned them into mansions! Last summer when I was invited to take over this old Victorian house in Detroit, it was so dilapidated that I cried non-stop for two weeks thinking of the endless work that lay ahead of me. I spent countless hours and thousands of dollars restoring it. People raved about the befores and afters! And so far this spring, I have redesigned the back porch deck and turned the entire courtyard into a flowered fairy world! And do you know what? Like my nomadic life in medieval days, I moved out and left every one of those places behind me to seek treasures untold, never looking back, and I am looking to get out of here as soon as possible. I cannot stay in any one place for too long. I cannot let moss grow under my feet. I am doomed to follow out this destiny for reasons I still cannot explain. I see the writing on the walls, and it's closing in on me. I promise myself that I will stick it out until I graduate from college in 2013, but beyond that I cannot predict. Until that time, I remain in my boxcar world. Waiting. Hoping. Searching for a lifetime past in a future that is almost over.