Tuesday, October 11, 2011


hard to believe it's been a month since my last post.  i've started a few, only to abandon them.  it seems my ability to write anything that doesn't suck goes in fits and spurts.  i've still got the drafts of the abandoned ones and i hope to get back to them some day soon, but neither were making any sense to me so i put them on the back burner.  partly my life has been filled with more work and family, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but apparently it doesn't lend itself to writing.  but as i sit here on this nice fall day, seeing the leaves turn, i thought i'd give it another go...

the leaves are indeed, turning.  as i sit here at the cabin, i can look out onto the water and around the surrounding hills and see gold, bronze, red, yellow, green all about me.  i'm only here for the day; i needed a quiet place to finish some editing for stickboy.  lately the house has been a zoo of people coming and going.  some work is being done on the house and maggie and i have been helping move the mare into her new apartment, a lovely new place that allows pets.  she has gotten a cat from the humane society, a shy but friendly cat.  she is much like the intrepid boxer maggie, who is alternately brave and frightened of things.  for instance, maggie will bound through the trees and bushes without a thought or care in the world, but new places and people make her wary.  i suppose she gets that from me, as i am often wary of people when they come over.  it's not that i don't like company, i sometimes do, but for the most part i enjoy my solitude and am anxious when it is disturbed. 

my friend kenneth once told me that the true measure of a man (or woman for that matter) is the ability to be alone.  i'm paraphrasing, but he said it's important to be able to go to a restaurant and eat alone.  and not just to mcdonald's to pick up a burger that tastes like the cardboard box it comes in, take it home and watch television.  but rather, to sit down in a restaurant, order dinner and sit peaceably while enjoying your meal.  i've always liked this thought and am happy to say i have done this on many occasions and find it easy to do.  i suppose it is like this: i don't always like myself, but i am comfortable with my own company.  time spent alone gives me time to think of things, good and bad, hopes and regrets.  i've had a lot of regrets in my day and while i don't like to think of them as regrets (rather as choices i have made) the things i've done in my life have hurt people and for that i'm ashamed and filled with sorrow.  that time spent alone is a chance to think about these things and to feel bad.  i don't always feel bad when alone but i think it is important to remember the things we have done that we would just as soon forget.  it reminds me to try and not do them again. 

a friend of mine has started reading the spenser novels by robert b. parker.  Parker died not too long ago and he is on my list of blog entries to write about so you'll probably hear this theme again at some point.  my friend has yet to get to the book early autumn where the overlying theme of the novel is autonomy.  if you get a chance to read it, you should.  a lot of my principles come from this book and this theme.   it discusses self-reliance and solitude to a great degree and probably explains it a lot better than i can. 

and i do think it's okay to allow yourself to be sad, to feel the bad things.  so many of us spend our lives running from pain and sadness that we never really get a chance to go over them in our heads, to try and come to peace with them.  solitude also gives me time to be thankful for the people and things in my life.  not to sound like a fucking hallmark card, i am thankful for my family and friends who have stood by me over the years.  without them i would not be here today, to that i can certainly attest.  and it's clear i need people, for if i didn't, why would i bother writing at all? why would i post a blog with my thoughts for you to read?  no, we humans are social creatures, just some of us are more social than others.

as i sit here on the porch, looking at the leaves change, i'm reminded that solitude is a good thing but only if it is coupled with the things you love.  and as i stare at this computer, i am getting sideways glances from the intrepid boxer maggie.  i think i better go enjoy the waning solitude of the day with a good rabbit chase and a romp in the woods.


  1. Wow, I totally got all of that - the drafts, the disturbances, the need for alone time...and for others. Nicely put!

  2. thanks Nicole... I enjoyed your last piece in the C&C magazine!