A Mystical Experience

On those rare occasions when I have the house to myself, I’m like a pig in mud. Seized by an ecstasy of biblical proportions, it’s practically indecent. But, far from cavorting about the house naked or inviting teeming hordes to ragers on the deck, I am doing…nothing. Nothing at all. Haven’t even left the house. Listening to the birds sing, unruffled by any intrusion of my domain, I revel in the quietude.


Can you sympathize?


How often do you get to savor a space without anyone around to interfere? As beloved as these other people are (or are not, as the case may be), and as much as we may, overall, appreciate their camaraderie, there’s nothing quite so delightful as having the house to oneself. All my elation got me wondering what, exactly, is it that I am celebrating?


Not sure I know how to answer that.


I think, for me, at this point in my life and re-booting journey, there is little that feels within my control. There are things I have to do, but not much of it is what I want to do or in a way of my choosing. I struggle to establish an existence that feels solely mine. It reminds me of that man without a country. So, when I get to engage in the fantasy that this house is my house, living according to the whims of my own preferences, giddiness ensues. But the truth is, life with my dad isn’t so bad; I’d feel lonely were I rattling around all alone, all the time. (Virgina Woolf’s ruminations notwithstanding.)


What fleeting pleasures do you savor?


It intrigues me that certain situations can only be cherished when they’re ephemeral. Like class reunions, were we to engage on a daily basis with many of our former classmates—absent those cherished few who will forever have a place in our hearts–the magic rapidly fades. Why is it that only a few, treasured people or experiences are able to captivate us over the long term? That despite the years and miles between us, they remain under our skin, bring a smile to our faces, and remind us that we have been known, have been seen, have been cherished? Are my pleasures real or have I made them up, illusions to keep me company? But, that’s just me.


So, I sit on my deck, soaking in the silence, comforted by the knowledge that my solitariness has an end date. In a few days, I will rejoin the company of others. I suppose that’s where the expression, “It’s a nice place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live there,” enters the conversation. Even I, someone who lingers so much on the edges of life, want to be known. I just really, really like it when I can know others in time-limited spurts.


Reconciling our private self with the public is more elusive than many realize. More often, as mature adults, we’re torn between the responsibilities we’ve assumed and that private, demanding, insistent part of ourself which dwells within, the one that has no respect for any social contracts we’ve signed. Problems arise when we make no accommodations for that ferocious secret self, burying it beneath the priorities and obligations of the Rest of Our Life. I think I’ve just answered my own question about why all the giddiness. It is only in moments like finding ourselves alone in the house, clandestine occasions where we get to be the person we want to be, eat, or read or think the things we want, what would we do with ourselves if we could be that way each and everyday? What would our lives be like if we were with that person who appreciates the us who manifests on that sun drenched deck? So goes the dilemma of the re-booter.



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