Saturday, August 16, 2008

Life For One ...

It was just over a year ago, coincidentally (not that I believe in coincidence) that I wrote this post. To quote myself: "... we bloggers, behind our keyboards, are the gatekeepers of our stories. We post what we want you to know. And you have no way of knowing how much is being left unsaid."

Every so often, I delve into the deep, but most of the time, my blog drifts along in the shallows, almost always in sight of the proverbial shore. Safe.

But since Sunday, I've been mulling, anew, this simple yet profound fact: I am alone.

Much of the time, I like being alone. I like having my own living space. I like that I can come and go as I please. But every so often, that affinity for solitude gives way to wondering and worry. What will later life be like? I have no children to leave as my legacy, no husband with which to grow old.

I have brothers, but I rarely see them for reasons too complicated to explain. I have friends, but I can't help but question just how close we really are.

On Sunday, one of the cheering stations for the walk was literally across the street from a high rise a friend of mine calls home. I sent out an e-mail about the times and locations and his response was, "I don't know if I'll be able to, but I may make the Addison lakefront cheering station."

Now, I know that everyone is busy, and he certainly didn't owe me a detailed explanation, but I couldn't help but think, "I'm walking 60 miles and you're not sure if you can make it across the street?"

There weren't a lot of people there anyway, but I didn't see him.

My mom met me at the end of the event. My father was further down the path, waiting to take my picture. They come every year, and I greatly appreciate their presence. But I can't help but wonder, "What if they weren't here?"

Which then leads me to think about what my life will be someday when they're gone. What then? What support system will exist for me in the future?

Lest this seem all too "woe is me," allow me to assure you that I recognize that I can do more to change my fate. I can date. I can very possibly find the person I am meant to marry, if indeed I am meant to marry in this life. I can have children. Or I can adopt. My life at the doorstep of 39 is not a sealed fate.

I am like Ebenezer Scrooge sans the chain-rattling Marley ghosts. My imagination is powerful enough to present my potential future. Perhaps the thoughts of the past few days are akin to my awakening and vowing to change.

My past is my past. My present is my present. Both written in indelible ink. But my future is entirely up to me.

As I wrote in this post, "I live in a quiet world, a solitary place where I sometimes believe I have too much time to think. A fantasy realm, really, where I concoct perfect worlds and perfect words and perfect moments. It's part of being a writer. Sometimes, I just start talking out a scene in my head, holding both sides of the conversation, and occasionally, I am astonished at what comes out of my mouth - a perfect piece of dialogue - and I run to my office and pull out a piece of paper and scrawl it down to put into the screenplay later.

But my life is not a movie. I only get to control everyone's behavior on the page. When my hands leave the keyboard, all bets are off. People will say things - or not say things - and I get riled, because their words are their own, not from the daily script that runs through my head."

What use is disappointment? People will be who they will be. Relationships come and go. The people in my life today won't necessarily be the people in my life tomorrow.

The wall above my desk is home to a vast grid of quotes, one of which, from Agnes de Mille, reads: "Living is a form of not being sure, not knowing what next or how. The moment you know how, you begin to die a little."

And Helen Keller said, "Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing."

I admire the spirit of those thoughts. Where's the joy in always knowing? What fun is Christmas morning if you've already shaken all your gifts to discern what's inside?

Still, we are creatures who find comfort in clans. We identify ourselves, in part, by the company we keep, so it's comforting to know that some company will be kept.

And perhaps I underestimate those around me. Maybe, in a time of great need, they'll be there. Perhaps. Maybe. But I'd like to know for sure.

I'd like a tangible attachment to someone. I'd like someone, sometimes, next to me on the couch.

When I dated Tom, lo those many years ago, we would sit on my loveseat in my living room together. He would pore over his legal texts and I would read whatever I chose to read. And we wouldn't speak. But every so often, he'd reach out and cup his hand around the back of my neck. And we would look at each other for a moment and then retreat into our respective pages.

It was a simple way to say, "I'm here."

Mind you, I'm happy with the story of my life so far. Every moment has mounted to make me who I am. But as Part I comes to a close (40 looms and feels like halfway), I am more aware of the words I am using to tell my tale.

And now feels like a good time to introduce some new characters.


Blogger TCW Author said...

Loneliness is a state of mind that is controlled by the soul. If your soul is alive and free to love, then you are never board. Solomon wrote,
A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly : and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.Proverbs 18:24.
Your social networking and writing skills make you a very interesting person. Now to build your base.

2:07 AM  
Blogger J. Marquis said...

I wish I could think of some magical solution that might help you. I guess just keep trying the online dating thing. You're smart, attractive and have a good heart. You totally deserve to be happy.

7:42 PM  

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