“…It has to do with keeping things in balance.”
“Really, it’s like the spirits have made a deal with us.”
“And what is the deal?” I asked.
“We’re on our own. The spirits have been good enough to let us live here and use the utilities, and we’re saying: We know how nice you’re being. We appreciate the rain, we appreciate the sun, we appreciate the deer we took. Sorry if we messed up anything. You’ve gone to a lot of trouble, and we’ll try to be good guests.”
“Like a note you’d send somebody after you stayed in their house?”
“Exactly like that. ‘Thanks for letting me sleep on your couch. I took some beer out of the refrigerator, and I broke a coffee cup. Sorry, I hope it wasn’t your favorite one.’”
I laughed because I understood “in balance.” I would have called it “keeping the peace,” or maybe “remembering your place,” but I liked it. “It’s a good idea,” I said. “Especially since we’re still here sleeping on God’s couch. We’re permanent houseguests.”
“Yep, we are. Better remember how to put everything back how we found it.”
— From Animal Dreams by Barbara Kingsolver
• • •
She Finds Balance, ©2010, Jen Payne. Mixed-media collage: hand-dyed papers; ink drawing; cardboard cut-outs; image transfer; acrylic, watercolor and metallic paints.