Thursday, November 27, 2014


Thanksgiving Day, 2014. The pavement and the sky are the same gleaming gray: headlights make brief lines of light on the road, but the Sun doesn't answer, above. She's walking up high in the skyfields, pensive and forgetful. We have to make do with what light we have, here below.

The old feeling of confinement, I have always felt during the holidays: less now, and lit up with occasional intimations of liberty, but still there's the stubborn mass of humanity on the other side, insisting that today can mean only one thing. I loathe that, and always have, and I expect I always will. In me the impulse to celebration and the dictates of the calendar seem never to coincide. So I wait it out, as inoffensively as possible. But more and more these days, I dream of breaking loose, of going somewhere where Thanksgiving and Christmas have never been heard of, where people go about their business as if it was any ordinary day, free to any experience.

I love routine, doing the same thing every day, beholden to no one: I am not exactly antisocial, I think, but a little goes a long way with me, and to be with people in groups means not being able to hear or understand, and trying to balance jostling, half-caught expectations against each other. I wish sometimes I had a higher specific gravity, that I didn't tumble so wildly in the slipstream of other people's desires, but maybe it's just the price I pay for being able to see as I do. At my age, well into my fifties, I've largely given up on ever being a different person. The question these days is what to do with the person I already am. I will always be timid and eager to please, in my own mind's eye, however stubborn and willful I may appear.

I do want people to be happy, but I'm well past the delusion -- intellectually -- that I will make them happy by doing what they want me to do, or being what they want me to be. What will make them happy is shaking off expectation and seeing with raw, tender eyes -- seeing what's really there to see. What they think they want of me is beside the point, and I don't have the time to throw away on indulging them any more. Or actually, I never did. The time is short. Evening comes early, this time of year.

1 comment:

Kristen Burkholder said...

Damn. This is so gorgeous. So much I could comment on... Evening does fall quick on this coast too. I understand.