Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Alone

I love to be alone. Part of the reason is that I have very low tolerance for too much stimulation. Take me to a casino and I stand there, stunned. Or, as my friend Terry found out, I walk from one end to the other and then I leave.

She really wanted to play the penny slots. I couldn't focus long enough to figure out where to get the change.

Being in Downeast is alone. I mean, ain't no folks for miles, alone.

Allan stayed up here for three weeks, mostly by himself over the summer. I spent yesterday and most of today alone. All I can say is when he said it was different, I had no idea what an understatement that was.

The only noise is the wind, the ocean and the birds. Occasionally, a lobster boat rumbles on the horizon.

That's it.

There are people here, no question. I ran into two women walking their dog on Monday. We smiled and acknowledged the beautiful day. I assured them Beanie was not an attack dog, and they let theirs off the leash.

For a moment, we stood on an old road, now not much more than a rutted trail, steam rising off the wet wood around us. And then we both continued, I covered their old steps, they mine. The dogs lingered, as dogs always do.

It's simple. Most live by the old Yankee adage: I don't want to know, just keep it neat. Privacy is respected above all else.

It has let me start and stop and start and stop with a bunch of essays. Some might be good, some are not. All need more work. I find myself goofing off- a long kayak trip this morning- and seriously writing at different times.

Have I finally found a place that doesn't require me to handcuff my self-esteem while waiting for the judgmental police to come? Maybe... maybe this is enough. Maybe it would even fill me if I stop stabbing leaks in the line.

I keep going back to Jake's soccer game on Saturday. Standing there with ten little boys yelling "Coach, Coach!" to me, I felt calm. All the storms about what is good enough, should I do more, how am I changing the world, quieted.

I was doing something valuable. Maybe not changing the world but changing something. It's not huge. It will never make the history books, or the national news. I was a mom, coaching a team of boys who I told to play hard- but fair. No pushing- you have mad skills with your feet. And when we went ahead by many goals, I said, okay, let's help (boy) to score- a quiet kid who would never rush to the goal on his own.

He smiled one of those grins you know aches a little to do but you can't help it. He never scored but that wasn't really the point.

I feel old requirements slipping off my shoulders. If raising three boys to be decent, good men isn't enough, then what is?

Sometimes, it's simple. It's about being what you can, when you can, as well as you can. Instead of listing what's missing, I want to list what's here.

Trees, and the smell of pine. Moss filled paths in the woods. A great fishing spot off Hen Island. Being able to sit and listen to the fire crackle for hours without another word or sound. Stars for miles. A dog quietly snoozing.

Small things amplified by the silence all around.

6 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am feeling incredibly connected you right now, and inspired. Thank you.
Kamrin

10:42 PM  
Anonymous donald said...

isn't it great! i thank my lucky stars every night.

hope my sharing the fire with you for a couple hours didn't intrude too much.

trying to think of something nice to make you for dinner, something that goes with the polenta that i am craving.

6:30 AM  
Blogger Sara said...

not at all, donald. not at all...

8:38 AM  
Anonymous Morgan said...

"For a moment, we stood on an old road, now not much more than a rutted trail, steam rising off the wet wood around us. And then we both continued, I covered their old steps, they mine. The dogs lingered, as dogs always do."

Wonderful writing! A book could be written off this paragraph alone. Thanks for sharing.

I, also, do love my alone time. I understand the concept of "overstimulation" completely. My friend made the mistake of taking me to Mall of America.

4:38 PM  
Blogger Sara said...

mall of america? I think I would have a seizure.

6:28 PM  
Blogger Suzy said...

Alone time whats this alone time thing. Suck some of it up for me pleaseeee. At least I can read about it thanks. lol.

8:29 AM  

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