Heisenberg und Heimatlos


Werner Heisenberg

Yeah, and sometimes reality salad sucks. Yesterday the landlord stopped by to tell us our time here is up. It’s been almost eight years, but the family needs the cabin back, the next generation asserting its priority. Time for the gypsies to move on along. That’s life for a renter, and I have never been anything but. The biggest thing I have ever owned was a pickup truck. I don’t get to use words like equity or liquidity. It’s cleaning deposit and last-month’s rent.

I have no idea where we will go. We can’t afford much locally. Again we are faced with the imminent uncertainty of being homeless. This was more entertaining forty years ago, when uncertainty still held some sense of adventure. And at our age—freshman septuagenarians—there is a certain moral stain attached to not having our fiscal and domicile acts together, surrounded as we are by peers safely cushioned by their savings and entitlements and homes.

Werner Heisenberg is, of course, best known for his uncertainty principle, first introduced in 1927, which in its simplest version states that the more precisely the position of some particle is determined, the less precisely its momentum can be predicted. The metaphoric existential applications beyond quantum mechanics are enlightening and reassuring. Uncertainty is a given. You can’t predict where you will be from where you are now. For all living entities the sole certainty is death. If you are a renter don’t go feeling secure. Shit happens.

Olson’s line: The only thing that does not change / is the will to change.

2 thoughts on “Heisenberg und Heimatlos

  1. Really enjoyed this John, and my next move starts June 16….In the international school setting, I don’t use the terms cleaning deposit and last months rent …mine is more moving allowance and housekeeper/cook hiring….but the uncertainty principle has sure applied the last eight years…5 schools and 4 countries…. 3 schools and 2 countries in just the last two years….have learned to travel with two small carry-ons the last two years of “international subbing” …. and yes I don’t have my fiscal or domicile act together either …hmmmm the next couple years are going to be interesting …

    Head to home to Hawaii.. TO REST ….to a lease I can’t afford and uncertainty …your article hit a cord…..BIG THANKS… like seeing what I would like to say but don’t have the skill of putting the words together right ….


  2. That sucks. You could play the part of your most recent character and become the perpetual/professional house guest – roam the country “visiting” friends, family, friends of acquaintances who seem friendly. You’re not homeless if there’s somebody’s roof over your head.


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