The oaks and elm trees are almost naked; butterscotch leaves are face down, like half eaten lollipops. Lurching in the east; a mass of thick charcoal clouds without any wind to push them towards us. This outdoor stillness and the hum of my refrigerator are subtle signals of the approaching hand of winter. The silence is like a cooking pot cover that secures my spirit into acceptance. Listening to classical piano concerto’s, blue grass on Saturday, the blues on Sunday and rock & roll on Friday. Musicians are my guests, as much as the wild birds that pluck from my feeders.
Sometimes, solitude feels like a draft and no matter how many sweaters I put on, the seclusion tugs at my bones. There are a lot of us soloists that reside in Santa Fe. We are not questioned or scolded for our behavior, we are left alone! If I am drawn into an empty canvass of what seems my destiny, I draw the opposite silhouette. I am the light against the dark. The green light in my head reminds me that I have my teeth, my long legs, and some passion for almost everything that God and man created. I just can’t decide which passion to follow. Should I do a museum, gallery, lecture, drive to Taos, go to a concert, dance at El Farol, take Flamenco lessons, engage strangers in conversation, watch old movies, read more of the stacks of books on my bedside table. Should I interview the straggly teenagers in the park or hit up the high rollers? Should I write, submit or edit: clean the laundry room, make a thick chili stew, iron my clothes or pick up leaves. Living unstructured is a discipline that threads easily some days, and when it doesn’t, I have to control my passion for daydreaming.
My daydreams: to inhale ocean air, to bogey board, to hike, ride horses, go to Lincoln Center, the wine county, Prague, Sicily, and Russia. My passion to be around little children at Christmas and stare at their patent leather shoes, and to eat pumpkin pie for breakfast, to converse on philosophy, the arts, social trends, and the interior life. My passion for impulsive trips on the road to Kentucky and Tennessee, anywhere I’ve never been; I will go. The obstacle I place in front of me; I don’t want to travel alone. I’m plain afraid. I’m afraid to fly more than two hours, my sense of direction is worse than anyone I’ve ever met, and I pack too many clothes to carry, and end up with a raw neck and numb arm.
Once in Annecy, France, I walked for hours trying to find my hotel. I circled the square
twelve times. I’d not eaten a meal in several days because my coin satchel was half full . In a moment, I just fainted and swooped down to the ground. A Frenchman was kneeling beside me when I opened my eyes. We sat on a little iron bench, and he offered to take me to dinner. He was so kind, he kept bringing food to my hotel because he said I didn’t know how to travel.
The train of clouds are still in the east; fluffy white cream and silvery puffs of pastry. They too cannot decide whether to cry; or remain strong and commanding.
Dating is one passion I never had. Even when it was as organic as sharing a cup of coffee or taking a walk after dinner. Dating now is about business and getting connected. It’s selfish sex with a price. I hear men and women tell me these stories and my response freezes. ‘Oh yea, she wanted $250.00 for a few hours; without sex.’ For a woman she is expected to be complete; with independence and like total clarity about who she is and what she wants. ‘He told me I had too much baggage; who doesn’t over fifty?’ I think we are always in an evolution of personal understanding of our experiences. You can’t put people into cross word puzzles and expect them to stay there.
Now, hours later the clouds cried, and their tears pranced in a slight wind. I curled into my favorite club chair and watched a 1937 screw-ball comedy, ” We’re Rich Again.” Like my Dad used to say;’ You’re whole life can change overnight.’ My bed is warm. My friends are loyal. I allow myself to write everyday.
One thought on “THE PUZZLE OF SOLITUDE”
Absolutely the best post I have ever read. Very entertaining. The comparisons between the clouds and the human perspective was a new one to me. Thoroughly love those. Well written and in depth thought. Thank you writer.