window-shoppingI live in a cave.

I retreat.

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.

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