Wednesday, April 20

part two*


When we last saw our heroine, she was basking in a happy glow-- in fact, I believe the word "dream-scape" had been used.

Alas, dear reader, much has transpired since Monday morning and I can only describe what I have been swinging in and out of as more nightmare, less dreamscape.  Nothing dire, of course-- first world aggravations, to be sure-- but they have me on my last nerve and I have been in no mood to come in here and continue my tale. Perhaps part of the irritation was that I was unable to come in here and write since my internet service has been off-- I know I shouldn't mind and I should not complain about having to drive 20 minutes to Soliden each and every time I need to WORK. ONLINE. (let alone prattle out my mewlings here)-- but it is genuinely annoying and makes me feel like this:

fox with tongue out
thank you, Laini

So, I am going to try and finish what I began-- but my brain is so distracted and I am not in my cozy lair-- but sitting at the kitchen counter in Soliden (which is lovely to be sure, but cold-- fire is unlit-- and, oh let's just say it, I. Am. Pissy).  There, truths aren't always pretty, but they sure do clear the air.

What I'm going to do is begin by answering the two questions that were left in the comments-- hopefully that will jump start the story and lead us somewhere-- otherwise-- I apologize-- to paraphrase Robert Palmer, I didn't mean to lead you on.


 Question one: Was this the right decision? Any regrets?

Wow, not a one. Isn't that funny? I pretty much wish I could undo/edit many impulsive decisions in my life-- but moving to this farm is not one of them. On the contrary-- it has felt like a gift. It has always felt like a gift.

I think what prompted me to even begin musing about it here the other day is that the end is in sight-- my weekends between now and mid-June are booked out and my days here numbered.
Yes, I am ready to move on and yes, moving on is the right decision (more on that with question # 2), but oh, it will be hard to leave.

Virginia Woolf thought we should all have a room of our own-- how about 12 months? Twelve months filled to the brim with days where you putter about your own space decorated and set up precisely as you want with no thought whatsoever to another's needs, wants, proclivities. Each day your own to set your own schedule, choose your own menu-- indulge your mood. Because make no mistake about it-- this was luxury on the highest order-- if you are a self-indulgent trollop such as myself.

One (very embarrassing) realization that slammed me as I drove away from the farm that day last May was that I had never had a place of my own. As I drove along, envisioning what I would do with the apartment, how I would paint it, how I would arrange it-- I slammed on the brakes and realized that I had never done that before.

You see (and this is the embarrassing part that I had NEVER even reflected on until that sunny afternoon), directly after college I moved into a 3-bedroom apartment in Harvard Square that belonged to one of the other two roomies. The bed in my bedroom belonged to someone else-- kitchen and living room, etc-- completely someone else's stuff. From there I went to teach at a boarding school; living above a dormitory is hardly your own space especially since you have to eat every meal in the dining hall. After that-- I headed back to Cambridge and moved in with my younger brother who had a three-bedroom condo and let me have one of the rooms (which I filled with my many boxes and my newly purchased piece of furniture:  a futon (just the mattress, mind you) on the floor.

The next one is a doozy-- I took a temp job at M.I.T and made friends with a woman who rode the same bus in with me each day. When she left M.I.T. to move to California, I took her job AND moved into her apartment where she had left ALL of her furniture including a full bedroom set.

Yes. I did.

That's where I was living when I met David. I moved to New Hampshire to "test" out the relationship and that was, um-- 20 years ago.

Okay-- now I am totally lost. What was the question? What was I writing about?

Place. Home. Me.

I found myself here at this farm. I made a home, well maybe not a home, but definitely a nest-- that completely and utterly was all about me and as horrifically selfish that sentence might read to you-- I think it is good. I am so much better to the world. I have so much more to offer the world now that I am grounded and centered in who I am.

So much has occurred for me here. I chose not to have a television and instead read deeply, widely and wrote, wrote, wrote, wrote. I am not sure-- because I am not in my office to verify-- but I believe I filled at least 4, if not 5, journals since the time I moved in, maybe more.

But mostly? The walks. My one and two hour walks over meadows, through fields, up mountains and across streams. When I think of my time here, it will always be the walks with my dogs that come to mind first-- they are my perfect happiness. (With the exception of that hip-deep snow . . that? Sucked.)

Question two:  Why are you leaving?  How did you know to leave?

I'm pretty hardy-- there was a time when I would call myself a homestead queen-- and I like me some alone time-- but if I were to stay here, it would make Thoreau look like a party animal.  Seriously.

I don't believe in extremes-- cloister in solitary for some time, head off to a monastery or mountain retreat to get your sh-t together?  Sure--  many souls greater than mine have done such a thing-- but the key is, for a time.  And then?  It's back to the world we go.

The living happens in the real world.  The living and growing and doing whatever we are here to do happens in the heart of the maddening crowd.  It is my firm belief that you grow your soul best when it is hitting up against the soul of another-- in a perfect world, that's a friend or a lover-- but more often than not, it's the person who irritates, aggravates or drives you plain mad.  They are often the ones holding your lesson plan-- because if a person doesn't evoke a response in you-- whether it be jealousy, anger, admiration, love, what have you-- then, they are not your teacher.  (So says the crazy lady who has been living alone on a 700-acre farm for 10 months).

Plus-- hello?  Providence--- 5 minutes from the ocean, fabulous restaurants because they have one of the premier cooking schools in the country (where a certain someone is certain to take some classes), one of the premier art schools in the country (where rinse. wash. repeat. above).  Not to mention, Brown University-- its own airport-- and a train that can have me in New York City in a heartbeat.  And as we all know-- fine, upstanding members of the community who have really cute babies that better not get any bigger until I move down.

I won't lie and tell you I don't have big hits of fear and anxiety now and again as the moving date approaches-- I do, most definitely.  It's not fun, but I just breathe.  Remind myself over and over that change is scary-- and that my only commitment to myself is not to make life choices based in fear.

Oh, if anyone has any pull with internet angels and wants to send some mojo my way-- I would love it.  Thanks!

Bisous, E

*FYI, in case any one is wondering-- I would never have put so much time between these two posts if I hadn't been so busy ripping the hair out of the right side of my scalp, lo these past three days.

P.S.  (8:23 pm) When you gaze on the fox photo above, please do add in a hissing sound as when I got home tonight-- I discovered the refrigerator had died sometime much earlier in the day.  Hours and hours earlier as everything was warm and ice trays were filled with water.  Spent the last hour chucking food and salvaging what I could and taking it down to a fridge in one of the summer houses.  *sigh* Some days only a hot bath can save, non?


  1. Sorry things have been wonkadoo the last few days, but thank you for making time to pop in to finish the story. You make Providence sound so great I'm tempted to escape NYC and flee north! :)

  2. Given your mood I appreciate, even that much more, part two. I know it's hard to focus when one is in such a mood.

    10 much wiser. You'll embrace Providence and your new life that much more.

    Hope life evens out for you soon though.


  3. How I would love to take a few months to think only of ME. Wow, what luxury indeed. I envy you having been able to do it.


  4. Lemonade my friend? You are really in a transition...all for the good. Your story reminds me of Anne Morrow Lindbergh - and her wonderful story of her time by the sea. We women need to get away and re - discover who we are...why we are here. Peace to you...

    p.s. ;) mercury is almost out of retrograde...and poof**...things will right themselves!

  5. I agree...totally transition! :)

  6. I was so happy to read the rest, at least for now, of your story. Thank you so much. I truly believe that change is good for us, it might be a pain and hard work but worth it ... wishing you the very best.

  7. I am in love with the fox picture. What where your favorite books this winter? I need to read and nothing is sparking my interest.

  8. oh e. i am right there, on the edge of fear, with you. but i trust that when we jump, we'll grow our wings. i do hope you come up for a visit before you move xoxo

  9. Thanks so much for sharing your story here Elizabeth. After ending my first marriage I spent a year on sabbatical setting up a home for myself, just ME, and I loved it! It played a HUGE role in figuring out just who I was and who I wanted to be.

    I look forward to following your new adventures come Providence.


  10. When I day-dream, I day dream about doing my very own house all by myself. Every room for ME. Nooks and Crannies, books, music, kitchens, really is a blessing.

    Sending you a big hug so that those irritations will subside.

    I am looking forward to witnessing your NEXT transition!


  11. I have really enjoyed the glimpse into your life at the farm and can't wait to hear about your RI Adventures.. belive it or not YOU have made a difference in my life.. just by sharing your stories, your truth.

    Karen D

  12. oh elizabeth----I just found you again ( through bella's project which someone posted on facebook) and I have spent the last couple of hours reading about your ( literal and metaphoric) journey from blue poppy to mystic vixen. My heart surges for you on so many levels; I feel your sadness ( divorce is a death of certain dreams/hopes :( ); your gladness ( another new adventure--and by the sea and old brick buildings and colleges! :) ) and everything inbetween. Your honesty shines through and touches me. I am so glad to have found you again---your words inspire, soothe and make me feel less alone.
    big big big hugs, eliz needham


thank you so much for sharing your thoughts with me-- I love that you stopped by and hope something I shared was what you needed today. xo, e