March 19, 2007

milk crates

Things I don't remember…How the hell'd we get here?
–Sharpen your teeth, by Ugly Casanova (2002)

Again, I’ve been laughing. I do that. It’s usually broken up by brief fits of serious, (occasionally lingering) but mostly I am in awe of how dang goofy things can be. I find that what was the case years ago, holds true in the now and here (nowhere). Milk crates…the one material possession you can generally count on; and as I do - use as furniture.

So I slinked into town some 3 years ago…and at the time, I made a deal with the God I understood at that moment. Back then he made deals. Anyway, we had this deal I would stay in town for no less than five years. That was my end. Certainly there was some fine print in there about this and that, but the ‘spirit’ of the deal was to stay put. His part was to lay off with the mighty framing hammer of righteousness long enough that I might transform from a suspect to a citizen. I was totally cool with the deal…I just didn’t know at the time I had been speaking for him (in my head) as well.

I had what I thought was nothing…except a primer gray ’71 Chevy C10. Yes, that was my treasure. So with this general ‘nothing’ I had in my possession, I figured I’d need to hunker down and wait for the okay to leave town and get back to business. I realized this was foolish when I found myself standing in Hong Kong with tears running down my face muttering like a crazy man. And prior to this I recall a phone call I received when I accidentally-on-purpose found myself in Ohio at a well populated conference, and someone from the Mission needed my measurements. For a guy with nothing I was quite well traveled. And folks, it appeared, wanted to dress me up so I might chat with them about what I thought was my deal with God.

I’ve moved a lot. I hear about people moving a lot, but I really did – several third grades. And after I grew up moving a lot, I cultivated a lack of accountability in my roaming about the world. I often referred to it as ‘mingling’. And in this, I found milk crates a viable solution to furniture. I was fond of my milk crates. I had favorite ones. I thought I’d put the crates away. Sort of a crate-free stability…get married, have enough kids to field a baseball team, and then let them run off with milk crates…I though I had a deal.

Recently I have been moving again. Or so it seemed. And in my generally simple state of need, I’ve meandered through opportunity, rather than focusing on personal desire (as it relates to housing). And, as I sat on my recent ‘I have nothing, but I’m off to Seattle’ trip, I noted I have never stopped moving…this perceived stability never had anything to do with housing. As it turns out, it’s more of heart matter…if I may be so bold.

I moved back to Northern California to put my past moving behind me. From this initial move (and entrance into a heavily structured discipleship terrarium), I moved to a home that allowed too little accountability and too much access to the past, and shortly moved to a smaller apartment and direct relationship. From here, while discovering accountability and access are not wholly related to housing, I moved into a purposeful setting of discipleship and moderate structure. This then led to less structured discipleship with a larger yard and garage. Then it was on to a sofa, with milk crate filled vehicles I didn’t show up with, and quickly off to my most recent temporary housing with pals on the Westside.

I thought it was funny anyway.

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