The only things I was ever sure that I owned was whatever was in my head.

Beyond that, my mother owned the lot.

She wasn’t very good with boundaries, my mother.  My sister was often angry because my mother took ownership of her stories, for example.

I was never very good with ownership.

In the past, I have said that I regret not building a home, a world, that I could invite other people into.

My sister does own a house — she closed on it on my fiftieth birthday, taking any focus away from me — but it’s not somewhere inviting or welcoming.  It’s her workplace, her refuge.

My mother, you see, never ran a hospitable house.  In fact a friend when I was a teenager noted that my mother’s house was the place he would least like to be at Christmas.

And now, with my sister dropping the ball on getting my mother’s wishes in the will or even starting in probate, well, it’s not clear I own anything.  It’s not a good way to encourage me to reclaim my life by leaving me in the lurch, scraping for pennies, and unable to plan anything.  It all feels very uncertain and unsafe.

I realize this ownership challenge as both a good and bad thing.  On one hand, there is a lot of freedom to only holding what is inside of you, but on the other, it stops me from building structures that give me a base for power, both social and personal.   It has very much defined my life.

A reactive life can always be an introspective life, but a proactive life has a range of different issues.  Issues that have to be engaged if there is to be a future.

A life making the best out of what is available is a simple life, played in the moment.   In it, you own your thoughts, your feelings, your choices.

But a life about own owning things is necessarily a life of desire.   And desire is what can easily bend us into believing that the ends are more important than the means.

“Only the impotent are pure,” as Gough Whitlam said.  Once we have power, choices must be made, and in a finite world, every choice costs somebody something. Making choices, though, is a powerful way to make change.  “Your success is a gift to the world,” as the start up message on my cell phone used to say.

To have dreams is to have desires.   And the possibility of desire seems like something I gave up on many decades ago.

To believe in abundance, you must believe that what you need will be yours.  But if nothing feels like yours, abundance can seem a long way off, and trusting it becomes much harder.

“Want something, Bobby.  Want something.”  Can we be alive without desire?   Probably not.   But desiring our own dreams is different than desiring to give others one more good day. It demands ownership, of dreams, of desire, of potency, of possibility, of humanity.   It demands we be willing to risk, to be heartbroken, to be wrong, to try again, to get better with every choice.   It demands we imagine the better and then strive to bring it into this world.  It demands responsibility and impurity, blood and sweat, passion and pain.  Demands.

What do I want more than relief?   What do I want so much, what hold so much hope, that I am willing to push past pain to try and own it?

I already own my own head and heart.  But is there something beyond that that I must own?

My voice, maybe?