Impermanent address


I’ve been listening almost obsessively to the King Creosote and Jon Hopkins album, Diamond Mine. It is so gorgeous that after playing it for the first time from start to finish, I was so bereft at having to stop hearing it that I just went right back to the beginning. It’s very much about King Creosote’s home of Fife, in Scotland, which got me thinking about why I write these letters. It is, I believe, a way to pin this garden down in time and to let it last. We do not have a title deed for this land, after all; technically the land is the property of the treasury. What we bought was the right to use the land. This may change (in fact it is likely to, as laws concerning this type of land have been changing) but I have become comfortable with the tenuousness of our hold on this place. It seems almost strange to think of owning land. And although we work hard to shape our garden and, especially during these hot, dry summer months battle the elements to do so, I know full well that when we lay down our tools, the forest will reclaim our land. The garden, it seems, is on loan.
It is not unlike the way it is with children. I sometimes surprise myself by looking at Baki and feeling no sense of ownership; he just seems like a little person who has taken up residence with us for a while. Then I realize that this us the truth of it. Our children are no more ours than the garden. It’s an odd shift on the way I think about having a family (and, incidentally, I have come to think of our garden as our middle child, now in its third year). It is like the day I realized that having a child did involve unconditional love, but that I’d be giving it, not receiving it.
Expectations, it seems, are best kept flexible.

One thought on “Impermanent address

  1. nina

    you will know this but i have to post it!

    On Children
    Kahlil Gibran

    Your children are not your children.
    They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
    They come through you but not from you,
    And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

    You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
    For they have their own thoughts.
    You may house their bodies but not their souls,
    For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
    which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
    You may strive to be like them,
    but seek not to make them like you.
    For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

    You are the bows from which your children
    as living arrows are sent forth.
    The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
    and He bends you with His might
    that His arrows may go swift and far.
    Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;
    For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
    so He loves also the bow that is stable.

    hugs and greetings from spain

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