Craig’s Other Wife

“April is the cruellest month,” T. S. Eliot wrote (in his opening lines for “The Waste Land”)—“mixing / Memory and desire.” I somehow felt the cruelty of this mixture more keenly this year, being that the seasonal rebirth coincides with activities amounting to more than spring cleaning, a project that triggered memories of a less than happy home and anxieties about moving. The first month of renovating our house in town has passed; and even though another month will go by before our relocation, I am desirous to move on and continue with this journal without mentioning or alluding to our future domicile (pictured) in every post. So, during the month of May, I shall try to refrain from making any references to the place.

Not that the house is done with me yet. It is, to bowdlerize the title of a ghost story by Bulwer-Lytton, the House in the Brain (“Accursed be the house, and restless be the dwellers therein”). Never mind such literary allusions. Onomastics alone suggest that I should dwell on the subject, being that my last name is pronounced H O I Z E R—which sounds just like the German plural for house (Häuser). An architect or real estate agent could not ask for a better one.

To be sure, I have hardly exhausted the subject of moving, building, and dwelling; but whatever it is that I had on my mind shall, for the time being, remain unsaid. After all, as Heidegger reminds me, the word “bauen” [building] derives from “buan, bhu, beo,” and, originally, “bin,” the first person singular of “sein” [to be]. To let is be and move on seems to me the soundest mode of living . . . and the safest way of keeping this journal alive . . .

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