House Hunting as Spiritual Practice

4 Sep

I have to get into a groove. A rhythm. Every time I think it’s happening, some THING comes along. Three weeks ago I posted “Offering.” And when I posted it I thought, “I’ll be back tomorrow to explain.” But that didn’t happen. In fact, I’m chagrined to see that I didn’t even respond to kind comments posted there. And I can hardly believe this oversight because comments are the lifeblood of this blogging venture. They keep me going, really. They form ground–substance–support. Without which I would be spitting in the wind. Today I will respond to those “offering” comments, with gratitude…and explanation…the explanation that  I’ve been caught up in major-other-than-normal activities. Like falling into a vortex. Or the rabbit hole. And now I’m peeking out to see what’s still here and what isn’t….

Now. Let’s see. Where to begin. For a long time my sister and I have thought it would make sense to combine households. We both live here. A few minutes apart. Why replicate utilities? Why duplicate services and their associated costs? Why this and why that? It seemed to make sense. We thought for certain it would reduce our carbon footprint. We thought that we would take up less room on this already crowded planet. That living together would somehow reduce the drain on all things. And so, we have been looking. And clarifying our individual needs. Space needs. Configuration needs. Dogs’ needs. Personal needs. We’ve been clarifying where we want to be– here in this town. How much time we want to spend driving for the basics–library, groceries, post office.   Clarifying how we will sell our homes.  Put the proceeds into this new abode.  Acknowledging and grateful for the fact that we are sisters AND friends.

We come from the same place–a very rural, rural WV setting where driving for groceries and errands often consumed half a day. And so that has become a big factor because driving is also associated with gasoline consumption and air pollution issues. And since I drive several days a week to pick up boy/child from school, I have to consider that. And as I’m considering all of this, I realize how much I’ve changed. How my lifestyle and thinking has shifted–from rural to urban sustainability. Their similarities and differences. The trade-offs. But this is where I am. For now.

So. House-hunting. Hmmmmm. Learning to read between the lines of descriptions. Learning to see past the lens of the realtor’s camera. Wondering how what I’m seeing in real life could possibly relate to what I looked at on the MLS. Learning to filter out this and that before taking up our time and our realtor’s time…yet not wanting to rule out something based on assumptions. Having said this, we’ve looked at a LOT of houses in the last month or so. We’ve looked with creative eyes–seeing how things could be changed, rearranged, altered to fit our needs. Then analyzing the cost of those changes and going forward from there. We’ve made offers on two houses. One offer we rescinded even before it was presented to the seller. The other offer was accepted, we paid for the house inspection, and then realized we were out of our minds. And fortunately, in NC there is a 30-day grace period called “due diligence” where prospective buyers can change their mind for whatever reason, without penalty.

This has been going on daily now for some time. And really, I’m starting to see this endeavor as another form of spiritual practice. Noticing what arises. The tendency to think, ooooooooh, I want . Looking at that. Stepping back from it. Realizing that each of those thoughts, thoughts that pull me–us–off center are really simply FLAGS. My dad refereed high school football. He ran around throwing down white hankies when something went afoul. That’s what all of these thoughts are reminding me of. White hankies indicating that I’m off base in one way or another. White flags.  Accompanied with the reminder of the need to detach– to surrender.  To heed white flags.

There’s something else but I’m feeling the need to be quiet now. Enough with words for now.  Just this:


What is now “Spirit of the Harvest”, completed–spirit of the harvest


A beautiful Ojibway bead loom.  ojibway bead loomand the beginning of what may be a series of figures–

the family of  beings



family of man


14 Responses to “House Hunting as Spiritual Practice”

  1. Carol September 4, 2014 at 12:57 pm #

    Oh, I love you gals and your lives, always fluid with no stagnation! Game on!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


    • Patricia September 4, 2014 at 6:51 pm #

      hey you. this may turn out to be an exercise of in-sanity. wish you were down here to work your magic!


  2. Mo Crow September 4, 2014 at 1:05 pm #

    good luck with your new adventure Patricia and enjoy the harvest!


    • Patricia September 4, 2014 at 6:53 pm #

      ah. the harvest. wishfu thinking in some ways. groundhog does most of the harvesting, taking bites out of winter squash the evening before i’m ready to pick it. but still, there’s enough for both of us, i suppose. and now, thinking about my life, this life, all our lives, i realize “harvest” applies to so many things. so. are you all heading into springtime?


      • Mo Crow September 7, 2014 at 3:28 am #

        it’s spring here but cold wet & wintry alongside your late summer!


  3. grace September 4, 2014 at 6:34 pm #

    Home. All that has happened would be clearing the way for whatEver might come to be.
    I’m glad you are continuing with the weaving and cloth amidst it all.
    Spirit of Harvest is exactly that…perfect. as is Offering. Love so much how
    these woven beings work with your sense of clothmaking… the loom is very BeautyFull.

    i would look forward to hearing your thinking as you work through the choices of
    urban or rural…LOVE,


    • Patricia September 4, 2014 at 7:00 pm #

      yes…”all that has happened…clearing the way for whatever might come to be.” every thing. every thought. every action. clearing the way. i will post tomorrow about the wall–the 3′ wall that now holds cloth, and i just want to add that i do love these little woven critter/creature/beings such as they are. i love how they stand up…off of the cloth. how they have substance in space.

      and as far as the urban/rural conundrum…i just keep looking. noticing the similarities and differences…how each have had value at different times in my life. i’ll think more on this and we’ll talk.


  4. Marti September 4, 2014 at 6:43 pm #

    The”family of beings”, human beings, cloth beings that are talismans of continuity and I think of gathering your family together and I think of your present home, the land so productive: Is it at all possible to make your present home work for you and your sister? I guess I’m thinking about all of the hard work to make the land produce and how each time that Rich and I left a place, we left a part of us in the land and sometimes that was very hard to do…


    • Patricia September 4, 2014 at 7:10 pm #

      hey Marti. good to hear from you. you raise a good question about the possibility of staying here with sister. it’s too small. really less than 1000 square feet. that number sounds BIG when I say it…but she comes with big looms and i have a need for down-time alone space. we have talked about this house – – haven’t ruled it out quite yet. and yes, i understand what you say about leaving the land where so much of self has been planted. but there’s something about me that rarely looks back. not saying that’s good or bad–just how it is. and truly, i could do this garden again. maybe smaller, but it would make me happy to feed another earth spot.

      i’m thinking now about when i was in college. work-study job typing for an english professor who was also a bishop in the Methodist Church of WV. he was quite a character. i won’t say irreverent, but something like that…and an avid gardener. he called it “scratching the back of god.” so as i’m remembering this, i see that i can scratch that back just about anywhere

      i do appreciate these ideas of yours though, and feel warmed by the concern they convey.


  5. jstockler September 5, 2014 at 6:22 am #

    i know it is stressful but boy, am I jealous of this chance to just rehouse. Especially since you do not have to move but are choosing to make a change. That said, all the options sound overwhelming and I am glad you can step back and detach (my word for this month)


  6. Anonymous September 5, 2014 at 7:51 am #

    Your Spirit of Harvest touches me in an un-named place – as does your wisdom.


    • deleted September 5, 2014 at 7:51 am #

      opps – that was not Anonymous but from ee!


  7. The Fiber of My Being September 5, 2014 at 7:04 pm #

    Will you be moving to NC? I live in Raleigh and also at the Outer banks. Nc is a wonderful place for artists and nature lovers!
    Your little rooster would thrive here!


  8. Nancy September 8, 2014 at 4:14 am #

    There is so much here, but I can’t get past the fact that you and your sister are friends and want to live together. Although my sister and I probably both wish that in our hearts, I think we also both know it would never work, for as much as we’d love to be friends, we are only sisters. That’s all I’ve got tonight.


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