Hindsight is 20/20
It’s possible that all of the sudden, my world felt too small.
It’s possible that, like the knock-kneed wobbly-hipped hound dog I see off highway 261 every morning, huffing itself up from the pavement to greet the sunbeams through the fog with a series of long-voweled bellows, I needed something to call my own. The dog barks long and heavy to claim his day, then settles his old wire body back down onto his driveway where he will lay for hours, letting the warmth overtake him.
Call this his ritual, his daily prayer, his job well done. Call it anything, but know that it is one creature’s way of marking himself in the world, cutting a line through time where on one side rests the silence of each morning, and on the other rests the announcement of himself and the peace that comes afterwards.
The line I needed to draw has to do with communities; I can see this clearly only in retrospect. For too long, every person I interacted with knew me as from the old boarding school, from the Montessori school, or from the craft school—the three main, vibrant, primarily liberal communities in Yancey and Mitchell counties. I cannot count for you the number of people I overlap with on a daily basis who know me in any other way, because there are none.
The dog barks long and heavy to claim his day…I go in search of new friends who are willing to get to know me from the ground up. It is perhaps a line in the sand, a commitment to mark my own life here with a little more intentionality, to remind myself that I do not have to be limited to the context within which everyone knows me in. There is more to me than all the connections people can make from one community I’ve worked in to the next, and—more importantly—there are more possibilities for me than what walks in and out the coffeehouse doors.
A quote to close this observation, offered by a wise and generous reader who commented on yesterday’s post:
“She needed a lover and at the same time a lover was not what she needed. The need of a lover was, after all, a quite secondary thing. She needed to be loved, to be long and quietly and patiently loved. We all need to be loved. What would cure her would cure the rest of us also. The disease she had is, you see, universal. We all want to be loved and the world has no plan for creating our lovers.” – Sherwood Anderson, “Seeds”