La Casita Azul
August 9, 2012 § 2 Comments
“Do you live over here? And are you carrying a gun?!”
The cop that stopped us on our evening run with our 100-plus-pound dog wasn’t kidding. In fact, he seemed downright confused as to what the hell we were doing at the intersection of Jones and Swain after dark in running clothes.
His line of questioning downright perturbed us and I had to fight hard to keep him out of my head. With everything else going on in my life these past two weeks, I don’t really have the energy to negatively focus on the words of a cop just trying to do his job. However, for the rest of our time running (we didn’t go home…duh), Sarah & I talked about our frustrations with the stereotypes certain people put on our neighborhood and her beautiful people. Milo listened patiently, while marking every bush, tree, and pole that came within fifteen feet.
We moved in to our lovely blue house on East Jones street a week and a few days ago. It’s not perfect, but it has character and we’ve already had some fantastic folks grace the porch with bourbon and cigars and laughter. (There’s another chance coming up on the 18th! Ask us for the Facebook invite or we can send an email.) We love Mr. Evans, the elderly gentleman next door who has already offered to trim our bushes. For ten dollars every two weeks, he’ll keep our hedges looking beautiful.
At 230am, Greg from down the street came to inspect for an intruder just because I called and was alone.
It was a rodent, we’re pretty sure.
Hear me well.
We get it.
We aren’t all that stupid.
This neighborhood is not easy.
“Change has to start somewhere,” I sputtered as we kicked our own rears up the hill by the cemetery. “And if not with us, then who?” Sarah believes the same thing. And I know that, somewhere in the country of Uganda, the beautiful Ashley would nod firmly in agreement. We want beautiful things for the people on the other side of Boundary Street. It will require investing time in our neighbors and being smart with our space and selves.
Putting yourself, and your heart, out there for the world to see on your sleeve will always leave it a bit more tattered and scarred than if you kept it hidden behind a door safe inside a vault within the cavity of your chest.
And it is hard; put your fists up and scream through the rafters frustrating.
Right now, this very week, I’m having to choose Love almost hourly as my feelings have been hurt. But, to pursue my own agenda is to communicate that the life of the other is less valuable. That they are less than.
Therein lies the beauty of relationships. Part of my responsibility as someone who chooses Love is to make relationships safe places. This is really hard to do sometimes. But, I am called to try. Your personal right, as a result of my responsibility, is to know that you can always ask to talk/vent/cry/pray/laugh/snort/be stupid. Because I strive to not judge and meet you where you’re at.
It’s so easy to be bitter. It’s so easy to believe things that aren’t true. About your neighbor, your co-worker, the friend dealing with personal stuff. You always have options of what to believe; a choice about whether you push through or throw in the towel.
Life is worth the fight. Keep your head up.
When it gets too exhausting, come on over.
We’ve got extra beds, ice cream sandwiches, I will gladly embrace you, and Milo would love to listen to your everything.