Sunday, March 10, 2013

Going Homeless


Make a home for yourself inside your own head.  You'll find what you need to furnish it--memory, friends, love of learning, and other such things.  That way it will go with you wherever you journey. - Tad Williams


In two months, we will be homeless.  Voluntarily.

In two months, we are going to put all of our stuff in storage and live for at least a year without a home.

Walking Santa Cruz beaches is a divine experience.
Or, I should say, a house.  We’ll never be with a home.  Home isn’t a dwelling.  Home is where your heart is, as they say.  It’s, as Helen Rowland says, “any four walls that enclose the right person.”

Apparently Dave and I are the right person.  

What has prompted our decision is this:  the condo we rent is going up for sale.  

When we got the news, a zillion possibilities flew through my mind:  We could try to find a way to buy a place right now.  We could immediately rent another place.  But would that be in our beloved Santa Cruz?  After all, I’m retiring in May.  We could live anywhere.  Where to set down our roots?  Do we need to set down our roots?

Funny how the mind works.  We were in the car, driving up to Tahoe, when we got the call.   We weren’t especially surprised.  Our lease is up, and we knew the place had been on the market before we moved in.  We were okay with whatever was to come.

But still, suddenly it felt like my skin didn’t fit quite right.  My mind went on overdrive.  A mass of mixed feeling swept through me.  I felt dizzy.  A little sad.  A tinge of scared.  Nostalgic for our lovely little redwood pad, nicknamed The Love Nest, that’s so close to our favorite beach.  I suddenly got all clingy. 

I forgot for a moment that every single time big change has occurred in my life, it has led to something even more amazing.  Something I couldn’t have imagined before.  Some huge expansion of what life can be.

Road to Tahoe
It was the perfect time to get the news.  We were in the car, with nothing to do but watch the road unfold beneath the crystalline blue sky.  We began to talk.  We played with possible scenarios, from moving in with a friend who wants to start a communal living situation, to moving down south, to traveling.  As we explored the possibilities, I paid close attention to my feelings.  When we touched on something that made me feel good, that piqued my excitement just a little, I lingered there.  Milked it.  Folded and unfolded it like an elaborate origami.

It’s no secret that Dave and I love to travel.  That we love to spend extended time in places to experience versions of life.  That we love to dive deeply into our relationships with friends by spending time together.  That we love to meet new people. 

A recent adventure took us to Grand Turk

And in the three-plus years we’ve been together, each journey seems to take us to a deeper level.  Each trip extends our sense of what it means to move through the world.  It’s as though travel has become not a hobby, not separate from the “real world.”  We're now taking literally the notion that life is a journey.  Each trip, each travel adventure, is life.

As Dave says, this moment is what we’ve been training for.  In some ways, this feels like the next logical step.  Not homeless but house-free.  Taking home with us wherever we go on our journey.


We met Widi and Karen in Alaska, and plan to visit them in Chennai, India.

So in two months we will be off exploring the world.  On the possible agenda are:  

·     places we’ve never been where friends have invited us to come stay (Australia, India, Hong Kong)
·     places we’ve always wanted to go (Paris, Amsterdam, Santorini, Corfu)
·     a place where we can spend a full winter in the snow (Tahoe or Utah)
·     places we know well and would love to hang out in because we have friends and family who live there (Hawaii, L.A., San Diego, Cape Cod).

As we talked in the car, we enjoyed being enveloped in creative possibilities.  I felt a kind of nervous excitement—like you feel on a roller coaster—sweep through me.  So then it felt like time just sit back, let it all soak in, and watch the road unfold.  We put on some music, and the song “Something New” by Hot Buttered Rum filled the car:

"We could fall away from here
But I have faith that the footholds will appear…
There’s not a force in this world, any place any time,
like the human soul on fire.”





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