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Sometimes Seven

AurinI would like to officially welcome you, one and all, to the brand-spanking shiny new website, and my brand-spanking shiny new life.

One of my favorite quotes is from Winston Churchill: “If you’re going through hell, keep going.” The Saturday before Thanksgiving, I realized that somewhere in the middle of living my life, I had stopped. I had followed Artax into the Swamps of Sadness, watched him die there, grieved, healed, and never left. Fate had handed me the prophecy of what would happen if I stayed there, up to my armpits in muck: I was destined to Live Alone and Like It, as certain Grand Dames had done before me. A powerful Mystic had hinted at what hardships lay ahead should I continue to move forward: destruction. Darkness. Change. Rebirth.

Like it or not, I did not want to live alone. So I made a decision. I decided to live my life, this one life that I get, no dress rehearsals, no do-overs. My adventure was not over yet, my story still far from ever ending. I embraced Pluto. I walked along the Ouroboros and planted my foot square between his eyes. I blew a kiss and crumbled the walls of the Ivory Tower. I burnt down the city, became the Phoenix, and rose from the ash. I lifted my arms to Falkor (in this world his name is Expedia) and flew out of the swamp and away to the next chapter.

For those less metaphorically inclined: I quit my job, packed a suitcase, and escaped to a far off land. When I returned home from that land, home was a house in Pennsylvania with two writers, four kids, a fireplace, a gas stove, a Needy Cat, and an Awesome Porch. I took off Bridget Jones’ bunny suit and donned the apron of Alice in The Brady Bunch. What surprised me was how incredibly easy it was to do, how badly I realized it needed to have been done once I did it, how little I actually left behind, and how much a TARDIS-quality suitcase costs on Delta if it’s seven pounds over the weight limit. (SEVENTY DOLLARS?!? REALLY?)

My parents came to visit me a week later since they were in the area for the holidays. (That’s right, I’m now IN AN AREA where people stop by and visit.) Bob and Kelli were at work but Lilwenchi and Kram were around, weaving in and out of the house trailing skateboards and Kool-aid and girlfriends like ducklings and boys with acoustic guitar sets in their wake.

At one point, Mom turned to me and asked the question Kelli asks so often when trying to plan dinner. “How many people actually belong in this house?”

“Four,” I answered. “Five, counting me. Rarely three. Usually five. Sometimes seven.” And I smiled a smile she hadn’t seen in a very long time, one of those smiles that comes straight from the heart and soul, one of those smiles that warms a cold room and makes blemishes disappear, one of those smiles that eases muscles and cures headaches and sets a parent’s mind at ease, assuring them that everything is all right with their wandering princess child whose hair still smells of soot and whose shoes are still covered in swamp mud.

In a contest between “live alone and like it” and “sometimes seven”, I’ll take Sometimes Seven every time.

There’s no place else I’d rather be.

23 Responses to “Sometimes Seven”

  1. Rachel Dryden Says:

    Hey Lee,

    What a great post (both of them – I read the one about the book and Andre and Anne too). I find them to resonate particularly well in my own life right now, coming through a divorce. I’m so excited and happy that you’ve found a place on your personal journey that brings you joy. And I’m sure there is more to come.

    It also gives me encouragement for my own journey. I have to say, in the past month I have definitely found a lot of joy, through friends. And that is really precious to me. Someday I too long for more than that, but in this moment, I am content.

  2. Bob Ford Says:

    Ask me no more if east or west
    The Phoenix builds her spicy nest;
    For unto you at last she flies,
    And in your fragrant bosom dies.
    – Thomas Carew

    Seven will take you every time as well, Sunshine.

  3. Princess Alethea Says:

    Bob: I heart you.

    Rachel: You are such a sweetheart. I wish you all the best with everything you’re going through. May my crazy-ass journey inspire you as others’ have before me…others whose house I’ve crashed indefinitely. 😉

  4. Logan L. Masterson Says:

    Congratulations on the energy and life bubbling all around you.

    Seven hills of Rome
    Seven sages
    Seven wonders

    Seven is the number of the mind, of consciousness, of presence in the moment.

    Revel.

  5. Michelle Pendergrass Says:

    What a beautifully happy post! You deserve the smiles and the love.

    I can’t wait to visit that porch!

  6. Maggie Mae Says:

    Wow, what a journey. Thanks for the non-metaphoric translation. I got the general list from the eloquent intro but the details were a bit murky on specifics on that LOL. Seriously your writing always impresses me. Thanks for sharing a bit of yourself and maybe inspiring me to step out of my shell a bit someday and find a new path as well. Much love and hugs from chilly Denver!

  7. Stephania Grimm Says:

    HoooRaaaahh Sister! Don’t care what anyone says, change is a great thing sometimes.

    Much Love prayers and thoughts

    Miss you!
    Stephania

  8. Princess Alethea Says:

    Miss you already too. And that Fred guy. And our Persian place. Mmmmm…lamb.

  9. kelli dunlap Says:

    sometimes seven… this one doesn’t like corn, that one hates broccoli, this one doesn’t like spices and that one hate meat… and a princess that eats everything i eat. yay!!

    our six is happy to be seven… or five… or whatever we are at the moment =)

  10. Princess Alethea Says:

    I *do* heart everything you heart.
    Well, except for that whole cheese issue I’ve got…yeah. But the Princess Enchiladas were nomnomnommy. 🙂

  11. Lillie Says:

    Except that there are far more than seven, ’cause many of us who have never been there are there with you. Remember “should you need me”…

  12. Princess Alethea Says:

    It’s so true. You’re just a click away.
    Long Live my iPhone! xoxo

  13. Ron Dickie Says:

    Bright, happy, inspirational… These three words spring to mind whenever I think of you, Princess, and this essay only serves to further that opinion. You are brave and adventurous, and I am looking forward to where this one takes you, because I know it will be amazing.

    See you soon!

  14. Princess Alethea Says:

    I love you, Dickiepie.
    This princess is so honored to have you as one of her Champions. xox

  15. JT Ellison Says:

    And the princess became my hero…

    Will miss you dreadfully, but I am SO proud of you!!!!!!! xoxo

  16. Nancy Fulda Says:

    You rock, Lee! All the best for you in your new adventures.

  17. Kitti Says:

    Congratulations on the new family, and you didn’t even have to give them birth!

    Funny, Pluto expunged a bad marriage from my life, and for you, he brings sometimes six. Now, whatever did I do with those phoenix feathers?

  18. Princess Alethea Says:

    Kitti, dearest, thank you for being my Mystic.
    An adventuring princess could not ask for a better guide. xox

  19. G-Ditty Says:

    What JTE said +100000000000000000000000000000000
    Rock on AK, & don’t forget your TN fam.
    luvs
    G

  20. Princess Alethea Says:

    G, you so silly. You don’t forget family. Ever. It’s part of the definition, for better or worse. My TN posse saw me through 11 years of good and bad. You guys are all doomed with my love FOREVER. xox

  21. Jackie Gamber Says:

    How exciting for you! Tennessee has been seeming a little quieter these days, now I know why. Remember you’ve always got a place in Memphis to hang out on your way to somewhere else (or just because you want to hang out). Make a snowball up there for me!

  22. Marrus Says:

    Lovely, Alethea. The sentiment is one with my heart, as you know if you’ve gotten around to my book yet.

    I’m glad the journey took you to a place of such joy – “Sometimes Seven” is a great title:)

    You at D*C again next year?

  23. Larry Scheetz Says:

    You’ve inspired me to start skating again! thanks!
    Skateboard Forum

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