Monday, December 10, 2012

the silly old maid

If we find the thing which makes us content but avoid it because of prejudices deep in our history then we are fools.

This season of football in a tv-less household has sent my love off to watch that enigmatic, crashing game at a dear friend's house. It is good on a deep, solid level to see her choose to enjoy herself and "leave me" behind because that has always been hard for her. I assure her I know she loves me no less...and that I need, need, need this time. It's so good for each of us.

After so many happy and companion-filled years I now have regular periods of solitude. I find that I am drawn to the same activities that delighted me as a young girl. (Except for the cooking, that's clearly an activity connected with adulthood for me.) I read. I listen to someone (okay, it's Garrison Keillor's craggy bass) read poetry to me. I do crossword puzzles. I write. I make things. I think about stuff. I make lists and plans.

It's even the fleeting self-consciousness that surprises me. The occasional awareness that my activities seem the choices of an old maid. First, why would I even care? Second, the charm of these things has been with me all my conscious life. Silly, silly woman/girl.

But it is fleeting and it does not change a thing. Dickinson and Milton and Angier and Gaiman, crossword clues and project drawings. And silence. Such lovely, velvety silence.

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