THE PUZZLE OF SOLITUDE will always be a puzzle because our lives, solo or mated, are puzzled by too much solitude, or not enough.
December and January. I fought what seemed endless solitude with my Irish Russian temper; bashing and short-tempered with customer service, world news, and mindless tasks. Then in February, it seemed that the fire dulled, and consciousness triumphed. It was a long wait; sometimes I have convinced my basement of survival would sink. It did not. There was an adventure that I did not know was happening until now, three months later.
I learned how to make friends with myself, and find the frolic and follies in the world that I created. I had to laugh alone and so I watched screwball comedies and recognized the humor of my irregularities; wearing a sweater inside out, pouring coffee into a wine glass for a cocktail, and chuckling up and down the staircase, because I kept forgetting where I left my phone. My head was elsewhere-daydreaming.
I learned how to repair house calamities; screw and unscrew doors and windows, seal up cracks, and paint. I rejuvenated every wood board, handle, chair, and table with Old English Oil. As one pal commented on a visit to the house, ‘ It’s a perfect day for Old English! ‘I needed to see a transformation, and at the time, my direction was to convert this house into the museum of cool. Then I would get a swell of vacation rental bookings from Trip advisor, VRBO, and Homeaway, and drive west, north, and south; lifting up the curtain on a new and more exhilarating act.
A surprise from the weather channel, we were basking in the sunlight in March. The winter was milder than I had ever experienced here; and how could I complain when half of the USA was sliding, sinking, or snowbound without a way out. The ease of adaptation was preserved by the horrific scenes in the Midwest and East. In the kitchen; my heart simmered while stirring my weekly slumguillion gumbo, stew, and casseroles, chopping away while listening to Tony Bennett, Nat King Cole, and Frank Sinatra.
Winter has in the past been a funnel that leads to writing. Not this winter; my last column was in November. The activity of pushing forward became important, and the results were compelling. If I was not able to write it was because the material was not dry. TOO
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