keepers of houses

4 September, 2008

hummingbird (and wasp)

In my family we keep old houses and their trees (like librarians in their shrines of silence but with skeleton keys). We do our dishes. We keep tidy yards. We know life is messy, is sweaty, is sticky and we dress accordingly, or, we deal with the blood and the snot and the shit and pretend it doesn’t bother us, it makes us stronger. And hey, we all have to wear it at some point- and guess what? It washes.

My aunt bought her last house because she loved a tree in the yard. I’m not joking at all, and the second I saw the tree I understood. My aunt can’t live there yet so my grandparents moved in: a house must have people in it, someone to keep the trees. It’s a new house, newer than I’m used too- but the floorboards squeak and I know where the candy is hidden.

The living room is formal, is where all the furniture they hid as we grew was finally allowed into sunlight. The floors shine and are so much lighter than the floors I’ve always walked on. It would be modern if not for the antiques.

We ignore the medical equipment in the corner, try not to see it, try to see it differently, as less or more than it is. When we age, we find new furniture, that’s all. But recently- recently we’ve begun to notice them. Walking through the house the other day I tripped over one- I only know what some of them do- they all have tubes and wires- I had been thinking about my wedding. They are deceptively simple, these things that keep her alive, and they are intrusive. And I don’t think we can ignore them anymore.


6 Responses to “keepers of houses”

  1. Pare Says:

    “When we age, we find new furniture, that’s all.”

    My god. That is absolutely dead on. It took my breath away.

  2. GraceArtemis Says:

    Totally OT: when I first looked at your photo, I had no idea what I was seeing. My first guess was some kind of horn to scare away the birds. D’oh! (It’s really a bird feeder, right? Right?)

  3. batspit Says:

    A humming bird feeder, to be exact…

    now you have me rethinking using the photo, Eeva-Leena!

  4. GraceArtemis Says:

    Oh, okay. Since the whole Trochilidae family is endemic to the Americas, I have never seen a feeder like that. The details of our everyday lives can sometimes be so different even though living is often such an universal experience.

  5. batspit Says:

    well said, my friend

  6. smoothpebble Says:

    Your words, oh your words……

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