Eagle and Phenix

history melts
beneath the heat
of moral
sensibility;

capable
though we might be,
it seems past our
ability

to understand,
to comprehend
the real within the
versions we

accept and eat
for breakfast as
the truth about
our history


The Eagle and Phenix Mill has predecessors going back prior to the Civil War; what’s left of it has been transformed, in the present day, into a series of high end condominiums and apartments. You can see for yourself, if you care to. There’s also a section on that website about the mill’s history.

I first saw the mill (and the city of Columbus, Georgia it sits in) back in the mid 1980’s when I went to see an Atlanta Hawks game with a friend of mine. He did not take the most direct route there and back from where we lived in northwest Florida, because that would have taken us through Auburn, Alabama, and he was a die-hard University of Alabama fan. So we went somewhat out of our way, through Columbus, GA, instead.

Just one of those weird memories.

I wasn’t to see the city again until I interviewed there almost 24 years ago for the company I work for to this day.

When I moved to Columbus in 1995, the mill lay empty; virtually all the mills did. Since then, a renaissance of sorts has happened downtown, with the restoration and renovation of the Eagle and Phenix as a part of it. I’ve known several people who lived there.

One of them was a former boss, who lived there while he was going through a divorce. He had found out that his wife had been having an affair for something like five years. He was a high-flying executive type whose job required frequent travel and their kids had reached the age where they didn’t need their stay-at-home-mom as much anymore. Both husband and wife were very young looking, attractive people.

Maybe you or I could have seen it coming, but he didn’t.

Prioritizing our identity versus our relationships is an issue everyone struggles with, because relationships involve sacrificing some of our own desires. In practice, it is either worth it, or it is not.

I’m not really in the judging business — I don’t look good in robes, for one thing — I’m more in the understanding business. And I do of course realize there are moral issues involved. But relationships are, as I’ve said elsewhere, voluntary: every single day, both people in a relationship choose whether or not to continue to have the relationship. And there isn’t one unless they both choose to have one. She made the choice she made. They are now divorced.

He kind of re-purposed himself, after his marriage ended, somewhat like the Eagle and Phenix building he lived in immediately after. Did some building, remodeled a few things. Found a new purpose, like another type of bird, rising from his own ashes.

Or like the old Eagle Mill did, after being burned to the ground.

Author: Beleaguered Servant

Owen "Beleaguered" Servant (a/k/a Sibelius Russell) writes poetry mostly, with an occasional pause to have a seizure.

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