Monday, April 11, 2016

Billy Joel and Me

Sight or sound? How do you remember things? When I was an architecture and landscape architecture student our professors insisted that we were visual learners. I wanted to harrumph and tell them, “No. I’m an audio girl. Tell me and I will learn it.”

Over the years of studying design, I definitely became a visual person. I’m officially a hybrid. (I chose the Kia Soul because of the color, because of it's name, because it is an affordable, high performance vehicle - tells you so much about me.)

Upon reflection, I realize I have always been ahead of the curve and have been a hybrid for quite some time. If you ask me what year I was in second grade, I would first try to remember where we lived (I’m an Army Brat) and an image of our house in Arizona will pop into my memory. Quickly thereafter, I remember our front door, and the sound of silence. Those hot, sunny days where people hid indoors made for a quiet outdoor life. I spent a lot of time sitting in the shade out front our house, reading.

We are selling our house. Nine years ago we asked our real estate agent to find us the worst house he could in the neighborhood. And he did. It was disgusting. He literally told us the path from the front door to the back deck. Once inside, that was the first route we took. The house is the size of a postage stamp, so while the trek not long, the stench was powerful.

But now it looks like this, it looks like us:

In listening to Billy Joels song, “And So It Goes,” these words resonated strongly:

And every time I've held a rose
(A place of security)
It seems I only felt the thorns
And so it goes and so it goes
(Our time anywhere, fleeting)
And so will you soon, I suppose
(This home that hold memories will soon be a place in my past)

For me, walking through the house is like flipping through a scrapbook.

A bedroom is a seven-year-old's birthday sleepover with eight wriggling bodies giggling on the bedroom floor. A scuff on the ceiling is from a drone flown through the house.

Behind the stove are words my children painted – our time capsule. 

The back yard was the domain of the children and family get-togethers.

The front yard is all me – all the times I need to dig in the soil and work something out – a plot device or heartache, or a place to sow a dream – a new blueberry vine.

But, it is time to move on. Time to paint the scuff mark, time to sit amongst the mess and remember all the love that was experienced here. Time to remember the hours of Guitar Hero and dance parties in the kitchen. Time to remember obstacle courses and s’mores around the fire.

I would say to the new owner:

And this is why my eyes are closed
(I leave my vision for what this house could be)
It's just as well for all I've seen
(So many dreams and hours spent building a home)
And so it goes and so it goes
(The dreams I take; the house is yours)
And you're the only one who knows
(The memories you make will meld with ours,
and seep into the walls)

So in the end, I am a visual and auditory learner. I am a dreamer and a romantic. I need roots and miles to roam. I am the girl who lived everywhere and always looked forward. I am the woman who wishes that time would stop and I could go back and peel the memories off, and paste them down, where next I land.

And so we go.