Thursday, April 19, 2007

On the Strange Coherencies of a Life

What of what hasn't happened yet?

I want to write this story, the story of what hadn't happened but then did, but I surely cannot impart the sense of strangeness and wonder it elicited. Still, I shake my head in surprise.

When I returned to Toronto in 2005 I came without a job or a place to stay. All my household goods were stored by the moving company in Mississauga. For the first two months I stayed with an acquaintance. My compass spun wildly. Everything was open. The only magnetic centre was the school my daughter wished to attend, and for that we had to be in area and from out of province, since enrollment was over capacity. I did a specifically focused extended mediation on where I would live (meditation a significant part of my daily life for 13 years now). Because I don't want to reveal exact whereabouts, let me call it Albion, after Blake's 'primordial man' from his prophetic books. In the meditation it came that I would live on Albion Ave. That is a very expensive area, but there is a lot of student housing, too, so perhaps an older apartment in one of the large houses? My dog and I walked up and down that street over and over that Summer as I tried to fathom where the meditation and reality might meet. All that came of it was communing with some fabulous old oak trees and a sense of which side of the street it would be and what specific block it would be.

In an email on the 29th of August, 2005, I wrote:

"Albion figuring so prominently in my psychic life at present, that's unruly... it's been so insistent that I've been looking for accommodation on a street in Toronto called Albion Ave... how strange that you mention this word... I've been waking up and going to sleep with "Albion," and walking up and down the street here that bears that name, being one with the massive old trees, wondering what the pull is, what it means, why this word is so prominent in my consciousness... hmnnn...."

Nothing on Albion, but I found an affordable apartment just inside the school cache area that worked for us, moved in with two suitcases of Summer clothes and my computer (which I had sent by UPS separately), found everything we needed came to us (which was miraculous in its own small way), created a small lodging that never really became a home but sufficed, missed my son who was now living with his Dad, and puzzled over the Albion Ave intuition. And I've often walked on that street and felt rather silly, me and my 'intuitions.' I do get carried away.

Meanwhile, I was fighting with the moving company, who nearly doubled the monthly cost of storage from what they had agreed on in Vancouver to when my household goods arrived in Mississauga, and I had refused to pay them anything at all. I was also writing "The Move," about the uncertainty I was living in. At one point I thought I had lost everything, clothes, furniture, books, all my writing and paintings. When I let go of the need to hold onto my 'stuff' I found I was able to negotiate with the moving company. We eventually agreed on the original monthly amount and so I paid them a lump sum for the year that my goods had been in storage with them and my brothers and children and I moved everything from Mississauga to a storage company about 10 minutes from where I live. For the last 6 months I have been looking for better accommodation, to have a home again.

Nothing. It began to give me a daily headache, the looking. The Winter went by. Nothing quite right appeared. Some definite possibilities, but a 'no dogs' policy, or a tenant who decided not to move after all, those kinds of things happened. I was ready to give up. I ended up with an agency due to fatigue with the process of looking at screens and screens of ads daily. A unit came up not far from where we are living now, and while it was adequate, it wasn't quite right, but I was resigned to taking it. We had to move to a larger space.

Last Monday I went in to sign the lease when the office opened so I wouldn't miss too much time from work. As I talked to the rental coordinator, he mentioned that another unit had just become available, and it was unusual since people rarely moved from this building. It cost a little more since it's electric heat, but he said the location might work very well for my daughter's school.

Where is the unit?

You guessed it.

Albion Avenue.

I signed the lease without seeing the apartment. That's how deeply I trust intuition. When my daughter and I looked at it later that evening we were quite happy with it. The bedrooms are very small, but there is light and enough space and the location is perfect. It'll be a good space for working, writing, painting, and for living, I can feel that. It's on the side of the street that my intuition indicated in 2005, and a stone's throw from a cafe that I 'saw' us eating breakfast at...

Last night I took my dog to the small townhouse and said to her, "Home..." She sniffed the door and looked slightly puzzled but happy. Sort of like me. And then I thanked every one of the massive old oak trees as we walked up the street that we will soon be calling home.