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Holding Space

Land Acknowledgment: We acknowledge that this beautiful land that we call our home was forcibly vacated of its original and rightful caretakers, the Iswa (Catawba) and Gadua (Cherokee) people who have cared for it for millennia and, through resilience and persistence, despite generations of state-supported acts of removal and genocide, continue to do so. 

February Potluck

Please join us this Wednesday, February 21st, from 6-9pm at our home at 34 Blue Ridge Avenue, Asheville. Bring a dish, a guest, but please leave pets at home. We welcome neighbors, friends, people interested in or involved with end of life work, and colleagues to come together to share a meal and strengthen connections. Meet new people; expand and deepen your community.

(While there are a few parking spaces right next to the house, please reserve this for people needing to park close. Please do not park on the grass – there are fig trees planted there. There is a Baptist Church on the corner of the next street over, Mitchell Ave, and Haywood Road, that has a large parking lot. The house itself has a ramp that can be used by people who use a wheelchair to get into the main floor of the house, where all activity of the potluck will take place.) 

Bleeding hearts flowers in front of 34 Blue Ridge Ave
A Love Letter to Love at 34 Blue Ridge Ave

By Millie Smith

Love, community, grief, and belonging are themes that continually circulate in my mind, especially this time of year. February places romantic love on a red velvet pedestal, polarizing the population into either celebrating significant others or cursing capitalism for the added pressure. I’m personally fond of the kitschy displays of hearts, flowers, and pink sprinkles; however, it’s limiting to focus on only one kind of love. I’ve long campaigned for a “big tent” Valentine’s Day, one in which we don’t have to single out romantic partners and can unite in a celebration of love in its many forms: platonic, self, environmental, familial, community, and more. Even recognizing grief as an expression of love expands our understanding and appreciation for it. My losses motivate me to share my love and gratitude more freely while I can.

I felt called this month to name my appreciation for the people and place that I call home. This community is as complex and dynamic as the humans who co-create it, and there have been dozens who I’ve shared it with since my arrival here in 2019. The inherent social fluidity of this house is a reminder of life’s fleetingness and an opportunity to appreciate the unique souls that congregate under our roof on any given day. I never experience the same house twice, but I regularly experience laughter, support, delicious food, connection, and love. I don’t mean to sound trite or sugar coat the reality of communal living. Being here means I am occasionally confronted with the qualities that can be difficult to love in myself and others. Still, there’s something beautiful in all of us showing up, listening, reflecting, and choosing to build a more compassionate and equitable community every day. What a gift to participate in that shared love in action.

A year ago we were gearing up for a housemate to move in at the end of her life. Soon we’ll be joined by another housemate who will bring new intentions and a wealth of community love. In the meantime, even the physical interior of our space is shifting as a result of our care and desire for a more beautiful and accessible home. There’s much to be said about our motivations to embrace these big changes, but you’ll have to come by to see and hear more about that. How about this Wednesday?

Our Mission

Holding Space was created to improve the quality of life and death for those with a terminal illness and their caregivers by offering support to meet basic needs, connect with community and create meaning.

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