Jamestown

After we moved back into the house last year, I was briefly happy.

Then I hired a tree trimmer to trim the trees around the property so that we’d never have a tree fall on our house again and be displaced.

I picked the best tree trimmer in town. It cost a small fortune.

But I was so proud of myself. I thought, I’m being proactive for once! I’m protecting my house! I’m doing everything right!

I took pictures of the tree guys up in their cherry picker, trimming the limbs from a giant oak over the driveway. I was about to post it to Instagram when slam!, one of the limbs went crashing into the garage and broke a skylight and my roof was tarped again for another month.

And then I thought, Oh fuck it anyway. Why even bother?

My son has been studying Jamestown at school. We list all the reasons that Jamestown was a bad choice for a settlement.

There was no clean drinking water, my son says. It was a swamp. Plague-infested with bugs. They’d never seen such misery. People died, by the thousands.

They picked a bad place. They made a mistake.

And I wondered, is that me?

I felt like that for a long while. Living in my own Jamestown.

And not just the house, but everything. The metaphor applies.

But then my husband said, “We live here. We’re not going anywhere.”

“What if it happens again?” I said.

“We move out,” he said. “We get it fixed. And move back in again.”

And I was able to let it go.

I went off my anti-depressants, which I’ve been on for three or four years, after Warsaw was listed for sale and my writing projects didn’t go anywhere. I had to go on something just to get through it.

The world is brighter now, sharper at the edges. I feel things more intensely, which can be challenging. But I also enjoy things more.

I’m hoping to write again. Anywhere. In any form. Even if it’s just here. The medication made it easier to handle my emotions. But my mind felt like mud. I couldn’t put words together. I didn’t see the point. All of it, an endless Jamestown.

But now, the desire is there. Even if it comes to nothing. It’s something.

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