“Why on earth would someone choose to live there?!”
The temple in which my god dwells dwells in a temple perched on the edge of a cliff. There’s a back door, that leads to a large field with dirt paths and stone paths and (mostly) tended gardens. There are new green chairs under old comfortable trees -- very pleasant to sit and read after dinner. It’s almost the way I like it. A wall would be nice, but not a fence. Atmosphere, not isolation.
The front door is whole different thing. There’s a small porch with enough room for a chair or two, but it’s not pleasant to sit there. Sometimes too hot, sometimes too cold, always too exposed. And beyond the porch is a cliff. A rock face that plunges ten feet, pauses, then plunges again, another ten or so. And beyond that drop, I don’t know - I’ve never fallen more than twice. I’ve only been scared off the porch a handful of times by maleficents who snuck in the back door. Snuck in, or got invited. I’ve been a little self-destructive that way, I suspect. I've not gone out of my own volition.
So this is where I live.
And who am I, you ask? My name is Mhari. I am old. A former wife, a former mother, a former daughter. Right at this point in my life, I know who I was, but I’m a little hazy on who I am. And who I will be? Well, that’s part of why I’m still here in this crazy little house. I was born here on the edge of the cliff, and I grew up always using the back door. I didn’t even realize there was a front door until about ten years ago. There was always something in front of the exit - a carved wooden chest, a long mirror, a loveseat. Most recently a painted Hoosier cabinet from Mennonite country. I have lived here with others, and I have lived here alone. Lately, mostly alone, and truth be told, I prefer the quiet.
Something changed, however, and though I’m not sure what it was, it occurred about the same times as all those formers happened, and the stuff that defined and decorated my life was moved or taken and the door revealed itself. What lies beyond and below is intriguing, but not enough that I have willingly gone there. I suppose I should. Face my fears, explore the shadowy caves and take-your-breath-away views. But that will require a guide or a knotted rope at least so I can find my way back up to the edge in case there’s nothing down there worth staying for.
So again, the question, “Why on earth would someone choose to live there?!” Why indeed. I’m not of a mind to tie knots just yet.