Tuesday, November 04, 2008

The haunt of ruins

This is the little house in the field my brother built. He and his first wife were going to live here. The marriage dissolved before the house was finished and my brother abandoned it. That was maybe 30 years ago.

I've wanted to take some pictures of the insides, but the bushes were too thick around the house and I couldnt get close. Finally I saw a path to the window. The bushes are retracting with the winter cold.

I love it that a mirror is still hanging on the wall.

This was looking down at a chair. The stuffing is all pulled out. You can see the wood and metal frame. And now his second wife is gone.

Re: today. Thanks to all for the political reminders via blog posts. I am not a very political person (to echo Annie). So I have not paid much attention to all the hoopla. I do feel some tension and excitement today, I guess. Anticipation and curiosity to see how it all turns out.

On a more personal note, my brother is running to be a representative of this county at the NH State House. This is an unpaid, except for $100.00, job. He runs on the republican ticket. If he wins, he will have a lot of work ahead, driving one and a half hours to the state house when in session. If he loses ....who knows what he will choose to do .

So many choices in life. Some are easy to make, others not. I think schools should have classes about making choices. Lots of differing approaches. When I look back to the past the areas that cause me the most consternation are areas where I think I made poor choices. Yet they always seem reasonable and "right" at the time. I guess that's all one can do. Make the choice that calls you in the present moment. As Tolle says, none of us can know what the future will be.

My brother built his little house full of love and anticipation of creating a home with his first wife. And now, there the place stands, a ruin, a sadness, a reminder of how life will have its way with us. How all things rise and all things fall. How some things catch and grow and some things fade. The cycles of life.


Annie said...

That is so sad. Life is full of suprises, some happy and some not so happy. It is too bad you brother
abandoned the house, that was a choice on his part. I too am a bit excited about today, first time in 40 years :-).

willow said...

Very thought provoking post. There are many abandoned old houses in the rural midwest and I always wonder about the history behind them. Choices made.

It will be exciting to see the outcome of our choices today.

Clevelandgirlie said...

Suzi - what a beautiful heartfelt post. Such as life - Andrea's "empty box that is still (and forever will be ) full" and your brother's anticipation of a "full house" that was and forever will be empty - a sad juxtaposition.

Mary said...

such a bittersweet story. the choices we make and don't make inform our lives in such interesting ways, don't you think?

marianne said...

Indeed the cycle of life, but this seems such a mess compared with natures. People tend to leave such marks.
Yes good idea about lessons in choices. I think I have made a few questionable ones in the past as well, but it would have been much easier when I would have known the future........
All you can do is to choose with your heart and see what the future will bring.

human being said...

OMG! what a post... it touched both my heart and my mind... seems these ruins are ever present in our lives... the decisions we made years ago and now may regret... but yes, at that time they were all logical and sensible...
and the path these decisions put in front of us have made us the person we are now... if we had made a different decision, we would have not been the person we are now... would we?

teaching decision making in schools? i'm with you one hundred percent... critical thinking is what kids need to know from the beginning... chess may help a lot...
your art and words have always a deep impression... this is wisdom...

Debbie in CA : ) said...

So much to ponder here. Today I am devoting myself to prayer and meditation of the beauty and joy found living in God's gentle path for me. Ruins . . . so many ruins . . . and yet the beauty of a wildflower blooms at the cracking foundations of such ruins and sings of hope. This world is temporal, thus we have hope for more. Yet, we journey through the very dust and dirt of a life here on earth. So many questions, so much to decide, so little to actually carry with us. Let our choices be made in love. Let forgiveness flow freely to others . . . and ourself -- just as God has directed.

Thank you for adding a special sweetness to a day I have devoted to praying for and visiting with those around me. It is always a pleasure to peek in and see where you are at the moment. You and your family are in my prayers today. : )

Teri C said...

That house and the lives is a very sad story. Life is so interesting, good or bad, it is intersting. Thanks for sharing this.

katie jane said...

I think kids today are more encouraged and focused on thinking about their futures. When we were kids there weren't as many choices. I remember thinking that I didn't want to be a secretary or a nurse or a teacher. Nobody actually told me there was anything else and I sure didn't know what my qualifications were. I think my parents were just hoping I'd marry someone nice who would take care of me. Someone did, but I so wish I'd been more goal oriented myself.

Love the little house. I see why you would want to fix it up for yourself, but boy, lots of work.

Cris, Artist in Oregon said...

Wow. Lots of food for thought here. I agree with HB and Katie. I too wish there had been more on Goals & choices at my young age.. It was a time when Girls were expected to marry well and live happily ever after... being a mom and housewife.
Why did your brother never tear it down? That was a choice too. To just let it sit and be wasted seems such a shame. The wood could have been salvaged at least.


Yes, a very interesting(and 'heavy') post Suki!
Much to contemplate.

I too have made some poor life choices,,,some of them by simply choosing NOT to choose.I think we all do, but hopefully we learn from them, and this is how we grow. I'm not sure we can grow without taking some lumps in life.
Personally, my folks struggled with raising 4 kids,and I learned very early on that if I was ever going to do anything, be anything, or have anything,,, that it would be up to me to provide it, on my own.I always worked,,,always.Began with babysitting at age 11 or 12. It wasn't until I was almost 30 however, that I gained the confidence to realize that I might be good enough at something to have a career, college never having been an option.
Maybe the confidence came after having lived some of those lumps, I don't know.

It is interesting that your brother chose to let the house remain. Maybe he couldn't stand to tear apart what he had built, no matter how painful it might have been for him to look at it as it deteriorated.It was a labor of love as he was building it,,and maybe he needed it left standing.
Like I said, very interesting. But then, people ARE, aren't they?

San said...

Suki, as ever, your reflections are poignant. No wonder you're glad a mirror still hangs on the wall in the ruins of your brother's house--an opportunity to reflect abides there in the jumbled memories of what might have been.

Here's hoping our nation will feel a new unity following this historic election...

patti said...

Your brothers house is a sad story & is now crying out for some new energy, a new purpose. What a great project it would be!

So true about choices. I tend to make decisions quickly & have few regrets. It is what it is.

I have seen children's books in the library, where the story leads to a fork in the road and the reader needs to make a choice to see where the story leads. Different choice, different story. Yes, they should teach these things at school!

Over here in Australia we are on tenterhooks re your election, as is the whole world I suppose. Though i'm not into politics much either, i'm hoping Obama will win. It would be a sign to me that the world is evolving, no longer stagnant.

sukipoet said...

Annie, it is funny the post came out sad. I didnt mean it to be but it sounds that way. I love ruins, they speak so of the past. I guess my brother's story is kind of sad though. I clicked on the tv tonight at 6 but didnt find anything yet about the election.

Hello willow. Abandoned houses are so poignant. Esp to me who has no house. I will tune in the tv again before bed and see what they are saying.

Clevelandgirlie, hello. Wow. thanks for that comparison. Andrea's empty/full box and my brother's empty never full house. Beautiful. It is too bad the wood is so rotten or I would fix the place up. I think it is beyond recall now.

Mary, yes, but of course I cant know what would have happened to me if I had made different choices along the way. I can only know where I am now having taken the roads I did. I tend to imagine I'd be in a better place had I chosen X,Y, Z. But who knows?

Marianne, I like what you say. Choose with your heart and see what happens. Blessings.

human being,well put. Yes, if we had made a different decision we would now be a totally different person. My problem is I always imagine I'd be a better person, yet maybe not. Maybe the physical ruins like my brother's house are here to help us think and remember about our lives. Our hopes and dreams and what it means to abandon them.

Mim said...

I try so hard not to "regret" and find that there are only one or two decisions I have made that were truly "wrong" - most of the others have just taken me down different roads.

I too love old abandoned houses and have often wondered what caused them to be abandoned - left to be alone, to never gain a history. Or perhaps they have gained their own history with animal families and wild friends. Hmmm...a childrens story waiting to be told????

sukipoet said...

Thank you Debbie. Let our choices be made in love, let forgiveness flow. These are lovely words Debbie. Good reminders. I like what you say about the flower at the bottom of the cracked foundation too. There is always the flower. Blessings, Suki

Teri, interesting for sure. thank you.

Katie Jane I think it is true that people thought, about women, let them find husbands. that was the most important thing. So therefore we were overlooked, as far as career guidance went. I dont think i have the money nor energy to fix up my bro's house. I think it needs to be torn down frankly, yet I find it fascinating.

Cris, you ask a good question. Why did my brother never tear the place down. I dont know the answer either. After all this time, I would think he could face the sadness. But, who knows?

Babs, thanks for sharing your work/career choices. It is always interesting to hear people's path through life. Everyone is so different in their approach. We can learn so much from each other. As I wrote above, not sure why my bro didnt tear the place down. Maybe I should ask him sometime. But as it is, a new house could be grandfathered in on the foundation size some day though I dont think he would do that.

Hello San. I am writing before the election results have come in. guess i have to wait for the morning. Oh, that's right. California votes last and later. I am fascinated by ruins and most immediately in my surroundings this ruin. Yes, I love the mirror and the fridge sitting there waiting for food.

Patti, you are lucky you can make decisions quickly. I wish I could. I prevaricate for ages and thus sometimes miss out on the choice offered. I've seen those childrens books too and they are fun. Well, we will all know tomorrow morning what is who in the election. Namaste, Suki

soulbrush said...

pity it's beyond fixing, or you could do it.i believe it was never meant to be his house, and so it's better he didn't love there, me being practical as always.it doesn't make me sad...a house is just bricks and mortar, a vacant, empty ruined person makes me far more sad.
i am not a political animal at all, but election fever hit here and everyone was buzzing yesterday and i say congrats obama!

sukipoet said...

Mim, you are right. this has been a home for the animals. A shelter. I know it is foolish to bind oneself up in regret. One must move on to the new. Still, on occasion I am given to reflection and pondering the past.

Soulbrush,you are so right. An empty ruined person is so much sadder than an empty ruined house. Thank you.

Kim said...

Suki, you have so much here to ponder. One of the things which struck me was how maybe life provides us with opportunities to work through challenges and learn from them. We all have them and in my mind anyone who does not acknowledge those challenges refuses to see them. When we can see life's challenges as gifts (and sometimes this can mean hindsight), then we can move forward in a positive light.

Oh, there is so much here to talk about, but this is an excellent post with some wonderful images to remind us of how important it is to be honest with ourselves and take stock in what is important.

Thanks Suki for such great reminders.

Blue Sky Dreaming said...

Suki, A beautiful post. I can't imagine how painful it must be to watch a house fall into ruin.Sounds as if your brother has made all new choices for the year ahead.
Your walks take you to places in your heart and a way to reconcile choices. We all need to look inward and sometimes even back in order to go forward.

sukipoet said...

You know Kim, I'm not sure if this is what you mean, but I am finding this fall, walking around the area, full of meaning to me. As you say, a quiet time to contemplate and ponder. The land has everything. New growth, intermediate growth, death and decay. To be outside in the landscape is going in. I think it was John Muir who had the wonderful quote that going out was going in.

Blue sky, you too speak with wisdom. The walks take me to places in my heart and will render to me a way to reconcile the past choices.

Last night I dreamt that i hired a moving company to bring my things in storage on Cape Cod up here to Mom's. I feel if I did that I would be accepting that this is my home at least for now. The dream seems literal to me, but we shall see if I do it. It is expensive.