At one point in my life, the call of social gatherings was irresistible. I enjoyed trekking out to hear a friend play music live at a small club. The thought of attending an open poetry reading with all its glorious colors lured me past the portals of my front door. I enjoyed the good, the mediocre, and the bad.
I met many people. Some people were egos supported by legs, they did not care for me or I for them. Some people were busy following their dreams, seeking public recognition for their sometimes-considerable talents with varying degrees of success. Others simply enjoyed creating sound and rhythm in the company of others. Still others came simply to listen, seeking belonging in an anonymous warmth.
I loved many of the people I met during those years of social involvement. The acceptance and excitement of creativity flowed freely and generously. I indulged my fascination with people for their own sake, appreciating sparkling glimpses into a kaleidoscope of lives and experiences.
Fate and responsibility removed the opportunity to enjoy these gatherings. For years I sought a suitable substitute, and remained in a state of constant disappointment. In desperation I turned inward, to find myself alone in a landscape rich and lush with life. I have tarried in that garden for many years now.
Yesterday I attended a literary evening. The prose, read aloud, was intelligent, witty, and at times brilliant. I knew only one person at this event, an old friend who met me at the door. During the intermissions I discovered, to my dismay, that I have become exceedingly shy.
My friend was well known; most people at the event seemed familiar with one another. She spent her time greeting friends and acquaintances while I stood silent and uncomfortable against a wall. I did meet several people, the conversations were short and pleasant.
The evening served to show me how unused to conversation I have become. Attila and I chatter endlessly. We are comfortable with one another, as only dear old friends can be. My enthusiasm for the unknown human element in interactions has faded, perhaps forever.
I could torment myself with logic and analysis as to why I have lost my enthusiasm for the company of strangers. I think though, that I will just accept that I may be "going through a phase". I will cut myself as much slack as I did my children during their wild journey through childhood.
I may be old enough now to enjoy my ride through childhood, the second time round.
|RECIPES :: Cast
By the Easy Chair
Original Sin by P.D. James
Somewhere Between Heaven and Earth by Cindy Bullens
Lyric from The End of Wishful Thinking
And it's too early in the morning
And too late in my life
To write a different story
To hope for different lines.
And I guess it's finally hit me
What forever really means
That no amount of dreaming
Is gonna bring you back to me
And it's the end of wishful thinking.
© Cindy Bullens
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