I live in a cave.
Aloneness is my oxygen.
I can beat myself up about this.
I can look out my window and see hurry, community and gathering.
I am jealous of people who know their roots and their tribe.
The pendulum swings.
I go out and do. I smile, brush up against strangers on the sidewalk. I sit in noisy pubs with my husband and eat bar food.
Sometimes I move into the city and offer myself. Most often I move away.
I have had the same clients for thirty-five years. They know me. I come forward to help them. I disappear and don’t list my phone number.
I can not be in the world as others do.
I envy it. I envy their ability to stay ‘out’ focused day after day, year after year.
But I can not be them. My life is inside, behind a closed door.
The outer world makes me empty. I can walk in it for awhile, but tear and break if I linger.
I arrive at this place again and again, at this pulling and pushing, at this going out and coming in.
I must go in and in and in, alone if I hope to endure.
Age has allowed more grace.
I have gentled the part of me that rails against my needs.
She no longer carries a stick to beat me with. She has surrendered.
Now, she puts on the kettle and whispers, its okay, just do what you need to do.