Saturday, September 19, 2015


We are a lonely outpost in the city, with no close family near by. At dusk on a Saturday, when I've been inside all day and the the ceiling begins pressing down on my head, there is no one I can call. No one I can visit without first making an arrangement. For so many years my aunt and uncle and in some seasons my mother were across the courtyard, with other cousins nearby. The elders are gone now and the cousins moved to another city. I have friends, and maybe some of them get lonely at dusk, too, but we don't think to call each other on the spur of the moment. Unless we've made a plan, we stay in our silos. And so, at dusk, I sit on a bench until night falls and the lamps come on and then I go back inside.

Sometimes I go to a movie.
Sometimes I bury myself in work.
Sometimes I eat the wrong thing.
Sometimes I play Candy Crush.
Sometimes I walk slowly among the trees.
Sometimes I sit on a bench and read.
Sometimes I feel sorry for myself.

Sometimes I feel grateful my children are okay, and remind myself that while it can feel as if my life has imploded to the size of a thimble, theirs is big and wide, and these are thoughts after all that can only be indulged if one's children are doing okay. My daughter is at homecoming this weekend and performing with her step team, and my son seems to be rallying after his surgery, the worst pain eased. He and his girlfriend and his dad are watching football. I am going outside with a book. See you on the other side.


  1. I love that you can go outside and have that.
    You are the city mouse and I am the country mouse but we both share so much.
    I bury myself in weeding and hanging clothes on the line and blah, blah, blah.
    And tomorrow, I want to lay on my new love seat and read and read and read.
    I am sorry that so much of your family is gone. That must be so hard. There will be more to come, though.
    I promise.

  2. What a very beautiful spot you have there.

    The loneliness of losing family ... I think that is why I was able to push myself to visit my dad in his nursing home almost every day (and sometimes more than once a day) for eight years. I preferred the exhaustion to the alternative of not having him. Now that he is gone, my days have much less purpose. I think ahead to the other losses that I know will come in the next decade, and wonder how I will stand it.

    And I know that one way I will stand it is to remember this post, and how you cope. And I will silently thank you, as I do now, for sharing it.

  3. I watched a pigeon flap its wings and die in the turn lane today, from my car -- right at dusk as well. Sometimes, it's all so melancholy and sad. I'm going to read a book, too.

  4. I read a study once about living in a world with people all around us. I don't remember the exact numbers but it was somewhere around 135. We can have about 135 people that we can connect to and after that it just fizzles out. And the more people we are around the more we disconnect because it is *just too much*. It makes sense. For however long we have been in this planet we lived in tribes. Some adapt better than others living in a big city but many of us do it because we have to. My city is small compared to yours, about 100, 000 including the outskirts and it is just too much. I have told you before that my dream is to move to a small community of like-minded people.

  5. I love your photo...I've never had much in the way of family connection but do understand as I miss several people who've gone all the time now. I cope by reading and meditating. Thank you for talking of something most people rarely admit.

  6. We're in a similar situation - no family around, no one to drop in on. I never thought of it, but of course you can get like that even in your most fabulous city... I'm having one of those nights now. Blogs then bed. x

  7. Sadness connects us to what matters as much as love and joy do. Especially that sadness that isn't bound to some specific event, that isn't just our ego being sad about something or our heart at having lost something, but that deep sadness that lives in us and sometimes draws a shade over the world, over the brightness in it, and shows us the shadows and the gloom.

    I don't know what I'm saying. I want to come over and bring you some flowers and some coffee or a drink and what. Just sit with you, I guess.

    In this world you exist and I exist. We really do, for right now. And we're here, and something moves between us. Not just you and I, but between each of us, all of us.

    It is real.

    love, love, love, to you, always, and to all of us.



  8. That can be such a melancholy hour. And the pull of nostalgia can just ache and ache.

  9. I do most of the things on your list, just substitute Spell Tower and drink too much wine. I am learning how to be two instead of four, but the dog is an incredible distraction and eases much of my loneliness. But still. sadness is always trying to bubble up, for every possible reason.
    Elizabeth's comment, all the comments. I love this blog and everyone who visits here. Scott's comment is exactly right. I'd love to sit with you too. This is the next best thing.