In 2015, it was our home of 18 years being sold out from under us, and having to move, but having no money.
In 2016, it was unemployment, deep depression and financial desperation.
In 2017, it was the Tubbs wildfire, which evacuated us for 9 days, came within a half-block of burning our home, burned 20% of the city where I live, killed some unfortunates, and tanked our region’s economy.
In 2018, it was the smoke of the Camp Fire that turned the sky black and the air unbreathable for days. More death. Paradise, California, erased from the Earth.
In 2019, it was the Kincade Fire, which nearly eradicated the town five miles north of us and again subjected us to evacuation.
In 2020, it was the COVID-19 pandemic, and aching loneliness, and the Shady Fire, the Glass Fire, and the LNU Complex Fire. The home of the father of my godson burned. People around here started looking stretched and paranoid any time we had a hot day or high winds.
And over it all, the hot, fetid stench, the pressure cooker of Donald J. Trump made every day a hell for any decent American.
Today, in 2021—when things seemed to be going better, finally—I learned that we have to move from our home of more than five years, because dry rot has supposedly made parts of it structurally unstable. We had notified the owners of this. Now we are cast into one of the worst housing markets in the world, with 60 days to find a place and move.
It’s funny, because I should be dispirited, and angry, and glum.
And I am.
But I also feel the bit in my teeth.
I am not dead. I am not beaten. Fires and plagues and deaths and misfortunes cannot vanquish me.
We will just see whether this eviction is going to go through. We will see who pays any moving expenses. We will bloody well see where I end up living.
These are open questions and I am ready to attack their answers.
I have a folio and pen and a hip flask, a dogged disposition and a robust Internet connection, motherfuckers. You’d best not count me out yet.
So, I wrote the above on May 4, the day after we were served with notice that we have to move. I felt defiant and powerful and unbowed.
The next day, we took our beloved kitty, Miri the Very Soft Cat, to the veterinarian and learned that she had masses in her abdomen that were obstructing her gut. There was nothing to be done about it that wouldn’t be excruciating for her, and we had to “put her down”.
We had to kill our beloved family member, so she wouldn’t suffer.
And all the wind went out of my sails then. I have been visiting her grave daily and talking to her and crying. I’m glum and unmotivated and…well…grieving.
I hope to get some of the brashness of the above post back. But right now, I feel like I’ve been gut-punched twice and all I want to do is lay down and wait for the hurt to ebb.
I’ve been using my Atheopagan tools—my rituals, my daily observances—to help myself get through this. I speak her name each night when lighting the candle on my Underworld Focus. These things help.
But when a subject of love is stripped from us—especially suddenly and without warning—there is nothing to do but to go through the process of grief, and that is not an empowered state, just when I need to be empowered to fight the eviction if possible.