Thursday, February 7, 2008


Saturday was the last night of "my monastic cell" at Trinity United Methodist Church. For two months, once it was clear that my twenty year marriage was over, this room was home. It was really just an unrented office space that they were nice enough to let me have, but my monkish existence there, without the distractions of internet, television, or stereo, provided an uncomplicated space from which I could move toward clarity.

Last Wednesday, as I was putting Twin B to bed at their mom's house, I told her again that soon I would have a place, and she and her sister would have another bunk bed and another home. She looked me dead in the eye and said, "you keep saying that, but you never do it." She's four. She's that kind of a kid.

By Friday, I had the apartment. Four days later, I was sort of settled in. Today, I set up the bunk bed. A friend grew up in them. Another friend gave me a kitchen table, and yet another came through with chairs to match. Still others moved my 1,200 books and even put them away for me. Yay, friends.

The girls are asleep in their new room tonight. They live in two houses now. And have two parents who love them. They're happy.

As I prepared last Saturday to leave the room at Trinity for good, it occurred to me I'd miss the place. It was here that I came back to myself after the earthquake to renegotiate the shifting terrain of my life. The ground is still moving, but it feels more solid everyday.


Anonymous said...

Can my partner and I have your room until we find hounsing? Were in desperate need or will be on the streets. WE have Aids and a little dog Like a Toto from the wizard of Oz.

We would only need it for 6 months and maybe less just so we can find a place to live. WE can pay 400 a month to give to the church.

John Sulmonte 206-334-0579

Tim Harris said...

Perhaps someone who reads this will be able to respond. The room is not mine to offer.

This does point up how fortunate I was to have this resource, and how extreme the need is out there.

Everyday, after coming from my room to work, I'd talk to someone who'd spent the night in a sleeping bag on a park picnic table, or maybe in their car, and I'd realize how little right I had to complain. My monastic cell, when compared to how many are forced to live, was luxurious.

I know that many churches are considering what resources they might offer to those who are in need. And yet, they are very aware of how these resources are dwarfed by the demand that exists. So many people I know are trapped in a $300 aurora ave hotel room because they can't make the leap to a monthly rental that is within their means. Your situation is sadly common.

I hope someone is able to respond, and that you get the help you deserve.

susie said...

Tim, I'm a quiet off-and-on reader of your blog, have enjoyed it very much every time I caught up with your latest or read about your past -- you're such an engaging writer. Now I dip in and find this sad news of your breakup, and I just wanted to say, I'm sorry. I hope it all resolves in the best possible way for all concerned. Take care, Brianna

Charles said...

Hi Tim, I am also an off-and-on reader, but enjoy very much when I do. I'm hoping you find the best path; when the earthquake hit me, the best advice I ever got was "Don't wig out". Best Regards, Charles.

sam, sam the traveling man said...

When my life fell apart a few months back, I kept reading the magnet that someone stuck on my fridge and it gave me some much needed solace. "If you find you're going through hell, keep going."
I'm glad to hear things are feeling more solid for you. There are a lot of people that hope for your well-being. I am one of them.