Thursday, August 21, 2008


I spend a lot of time listening to frogs and crickets, to birds and waves, to the air conditioner and the air cleaner, to the shower and dishwasher, to the click of knitting needles or keyboards. But, I also spend a lot of time listening to voices - people talking around me. I don't seem to talk a lot any more.

As a friend said last night, I feel like an outsider. I will occasionally share my story, some pain, some funny, but not often. Conversations swirl around me without my really being a part of them. Sometimes they are about things with which I have no experience or knowledge - remembrances of camp or private schools or vacations or friends and playtime. Sometimes, the conversation flows along at a pace that I don't want to interrupt, jumping from one person to another to another with each person spurring their vocal horses to get into the minute piece of silence that signals another person can talk. Getting into those spaces is near impossible for me. So, I ride along on the edge listening to others talk about their lives. Almost a part, yet not really.

Last night I thought about the conversation - dreams of going places, doing things, plans for the future. Others have those - I don't seem to have any plans or dreams. I feel as though I'm just existing for a while. I knit, I've learned to crochet, I work a few hours a week, I do laundry, I clean house a bit, and I will be starting yoga next week. I have no need or use for the things I make. I buy yarn and I learn - for what? I don't even know. I'm just existing here for a while.

I have no desires that aren't fulfilled. I could wish to feel better; I'd like to ride my jet ski more, to kayak more. But, I have no long term goals or hopes or dreams or plans. Life is just flowing along.

Sometimes when I listen to conversations, I feel as though life is flowing around me and gently carrying me along with it like a piece of driftwood that slips along the edges of the river - not part of the current but moving still, immersed in the busyness of getting to the mouth of the river, but not going very quickly. The driftwood bobs along and lets the faster current get their first.

I think somehow in the last few years, I've retired from the hustle and bustle of living. In the process, I've also retired from some essential part of life, but I can't figure out what that is. I've bought things for enjoyment and use, but most days they are meaningless. Maybe that's what's missing - meaning. Like, where do I go from here?

sharecropper to driftwood

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