I can now tell you of the streetlight that flickers on and off outside of my window all throughout the evening, the sensor obviously broken and worn out from its ceaseless vigil of day to night and day again. Don’t worry though it doesn’t keep me awake. Neither do the incoherent rants and ramblings of drunken humans that stumble down my block, voices reverberating off of brick, asphalt and aluminum. You live in the city for a while and then one day, without warning, the city begins to live in you.
I cannot tell you of the exact day when the change from visitor too citizen happened, it was probably some gloriously cloudless day in early summer when everything buzzed and hummed in the glow of rays come down from the sun above. That day is not when the realization of my inhabitance occurred. It was the night I slept through the erratic flickering of my oversized night light, courtesy of the city of Seattle.
My new home sits at the corner of 43rd and Fremont Avenue. Its been said (I still don’t know who said it) that Seattle is the most un-churched city in America and if that’s the case then Fremont is the most un-churched neighborhood in Seattle. I love it. The Baptists and us are the only hold outs left in this godforsaken place. By “us” I mean Church of The Apostles, the community of believers that meet in this building every Saturday night to thank God for the grace He’s so freely (and richly) given. I’m not really part of the congregation, more of just a live in caretaker. Me and another guy, Isaac, we watch over the building and perform basic (and not so basic) maintenance duties. I plan to start a little garden and do some landscaping to the immediate grounds surrounding the building.
The last few days have been quiet. I’ve slept by myself three of the four nights I’ve been here. In that time I’ve painted my room, cleaned the fridge (it was disgusting!) and visualized how I want the garden to look. It’s mostly been a lot of solitude, thinking and envisioning. The mornings here are my favorite time of day. The sun glances across my sill, a bird (I know it sounds cliché but hey its what happens) rejoices with the warmth on its damp wings and my eyes register the growing light.
My hope in living here is that I will find what I put my hope in. My time here will be introspective. The importance of just being has been a struggle of mine for many years now and I plan to reflect on how I can live out my life simply in a society and culture that places no value in simply being.
“We are so obsessed with doing that we have no time and no imagination left for being. As a result, men are valued not for what they are but for what they do or what they have - for their usefulness.” ~Thomas Merton
I took some pictures for your viewing pleasure (nothing special, just wanted to give you an idea of what the place looks like) and posted them here: The Fremont Abbey: A look inside.