I was thinking, this evening and as I drove home from work at the witching hour. I was thinking about human nature, loneliness, and the value of having community.
It was sparked by thinking about what I was going to write here. I have not been writing much at all. Ok, very very little and nothing publishable. Heck, I didn’t even art yesterday, and that’s twice this year I haven’t managed my daily artwork. I’ve been just a wee bit distracted. Yesterday, it was my son’s 16th birthday. We’d celebrated Monday, because work. However, he insisted on birthday cake on his birthday, and you know, some traditions are worth making happen. So we did. Anyway I’ve begun to feel a bit like a fraud, writing about writing, when I’m not writing.
However. Not only am I pretty sure you all understand Life Happens, and that I will eventually (hopefully!) begin to write again, I’m unwilling to give up my community and you’re part of that. Yes, you reading these words. Hi. I see you. In a manner of speaking, anyway. I know what they say about internet friends being illusory and all that. You feel real to me. Writing a blog post talking to people I know in some way makes me feel connected to a community, especially when the comments get going.
And as I was thinking about loneliness and how much I miss my husband and how much I’d miss you all if I gave up writing and pitched everything to just focus on the day job, I remembered something I haven’t thought about in years. I can’t remember which of his books it was, since I read all of them I could get my young hands on, but Thor Heyerdahl’s story of living on a South Sea island until loneliness drove them back to ‘civilization’ came to mind. As a kid, I did not get that. Frankly, being on adventures far from home, with no people around, sounded idyllic to me and I totally wanted to do that. I didn’t grasp that being alone is hard. Being isolated from in-person interactions is rough on the psyche. I get it, now. I’ve been isolated on purpose, and it wasn’t my purpose. Later I was isolated simply by virtue of bonds formed of my own free will and that through using the internet. Hard to hug someone’s neck and love on them when there’s half a globe between you. Humans don’t do well, isolated.
So I get it, now. Leaving paradise for the safety of modern medicine and the help that is people you know, that get you. Uprooting a life you worked hard to establish, for the comfort of closer contacts. I am going to be seeing my daughters this coming week. Had I not done this disruptive thing that has thrown my family into turmoil and my writing shoved onto the counter (back burner, heck, it’s way over there by the sink…) then I wouldn’t be in their lives even a little. I want them to be independent, and they are. But still, I’m here if they need me. But I’m also far enough away to work on being my own person again. Which is, let me tell you, a strange transition after being someone’s mom for twenty-odd years. More than half my life, my world has revolved around my children and I still have a couple of years of that left.
So. One of the things I’m working at? Is not the career. Whether that is writing or science. It’s community for me. Not someone’s mom, or someone’s wife, or this worker bee. It’s me, Cedar. All the things I am, and will be. Which has been a writer, and will be, because even in this time, story is tickling at the edges of my brain. So I can throw back my shoulders and say that even if I haven’t got writing news for you, I’ve got the stuff. It just may take a while. Also, why is all the rum gone?
Cheers! see you in the comment section!