How many before you have decorated
your house, or died here before you?
How many have loved this past or have
loathed their histories here? Who has
rested her body from a day’s tedium?
Who has cooked here for cousins? For
farmers, perhaps, or MD’s? Who made
her own bedspread here, taking five
years? Who quilted, neighbors always
helping her, in her front room? Who
took a photograph of whom? Assume
the house has outlasted weather, tornado,
wind and fire. The persons who harbored
here passed first. But what will our kids
do with these buildings? Inherit? Inhabit?
Sell? Well, they could live on or re-invest
house-cash. They could lose it. Use it
or trash. This home you love, the place
you reared them, will pass on. The deed.
So all of your doings. (Including your books.)
They may all pass to strangers. Even
your enemy could end up owning your
locks. Strange knobs and walls. Stranger
keys. Look at our snap-your-finger days
here. Think of them as your ways. Think
these thoughts often, of houses, in passing.
—from Rattle #23, Spring 2005
Sybil Pittman Estess: “I love deserts, New Mexico, Southern California, my family, my friends, good poetry, literature and art—and also psychology. I live in a sixty-plus-year-old house in Texas, was reared in Mississippi, educated in Texas, Kentucky, and New York. My husband and I have just built a new log house in Colorado. Life is often paradoxical and complex. It is always moving.”