Abstract Title

I’m sitting in my courtyard in Chicago seeing in my peripheral vision the ants on the table busily going about their life while I research the history of names of people associated with the land on which Parchment House stands.  I’m doing this because I was lucky enough to receive in the post the other day something called an abstract of title.  This thing is a written history of all the recorded documents and proceedings related to my specific property.  The document dates back to December 30th 1835 when John Trout purchased the land from the United States Treasury.  I rather feel I’m a voyeur on a part my own past that hasn’t happened yet.
I am an only child and I have no children.  Soon enough all of me will be gone.  We must accept that eventually we all disappear.  But then I realize John Trout is not gone because I am googling him, along with all the other names on this extensive document.  Few I have found, references in newspapers to foreclosure mostly, others I’m not convinced are the same person by name so I don’t wish to conject.
In re-shaping this house, my imagination whispers to me it’s the house from my past and of my future. In turning the parchment like papers of this newly acquired old document I absorb both the weight and lightness of time.  The moments in and passing of life are much to do about transmission.  Weight needs balance, lightness needs space.  Balance and space.  Something to aspire to in life, as well as maybe the notion to look back in order to look forward.

Johanna Lowe