Poem: Clandestine


Rising again

lips drenched

from former kisses

the taste of dissipating sweet

arising to awareness

And filtering rays

lay like lovers

resting softly nearby

The visits

are now clandestine

quiet furtive touches

felt briefly–barely

and then are lost

Laying still

feeling lingering longing

layered on remembering

will it never leave

as the endless nights

continue on

alone

 

Advertisements

Honey, I’m Home!


Recently I was watching a video (a funny one) that was on one of the late night shows about how there are these Robots with AI that are being used for certain ‘relationships’ I won’t really get into here. I’m not sure if it was real or humor in response to all the out pouring of sexual harassment allegations that have hit the news lately. In any case, it was a moment’s pause where laughing was medicine in an otherwise very un-funny situation.

But the whole idea made me think. Having been a single woman for a very long time, I wondered about the concept of Robot companions–not at all in the way that this particular video mentioned, but maybe more like an R2D2 sort of way. Could this be a possibility for the future? Our own home companions or partners?

I mean, let’s face it: I’ve “been there, done that” and bought every possible T-shirt for trying to date and find the right person for me. Over the course of years I’ve been single (and I’ve actually lost count now of the years), and the stories I could tell about the weirdos I’ve come across on the websites would make hanging out with a machine seem like heaven. Humans are scary and/or boring.

Picture it: instead of pouring through 100’s of  old photos and fake profiles of humans, you could simply pick out which Robot best suits your needs; short, tall; human looking (creepy) or not; male voice, female voice; appendages or just lights. Then, you could have the AI programmed to whatever things you enjoy or are interested in–think of all the data that could go in there. No more dates with someone who is clueless! Ah the dinner discussions!

Honestly, I’m not so interested in much of an emotional attachment anymore, although some of these Robots you see in movies are pretty darn cute, way cuter than some of the people I’ve tried to date! It’s all about communication anyway at my age, or maybe even helping out around the place. So if you read a good book together, you could discuss it. Or maybe go to a movie together. There could be special all terrain Robots built for hiking too.

The possibilities are really endless here. Robots are filling in so many areas of our lives anyway, why not becoming part of our family? Yes, I understand there is a bit of a spooky part of it; the whole bit of them taking over the world, infiltrating our homes and getting smarter than we are (which isn’t a stretch really). Sure, this could certainly happen…

But before they do decide to take over, having a companion that’s smart, reliable, predictable, neat, sympatico and maybe even agreeable would be such a nice change. And maybe having one on your side might just be an advantage when push comes to shove and Robots gain power over us.

Because, if there are bad ones, then there will be good ones, and they will be the ones we shared our homes with and loved.

Poem: In Memory Of A Father-In-Law


In the gymnasium

performing the mental exercise of the night

dipping in and out

of sardine-squeezed bystanders

I keep losing you

Cold-shouldered around a corner

like I lost myself when I had you,

why is it all so slippery?

Only pieces–

the catch of fire hair you shed long ago

But now we both have lost

him

And our shared sorrow

brings you

here

as a lamplighter illuminating truth

And even though our bond is broken

a gift is given:

his love for me

uttered from lips I once touched

This sweet small something

settles in

Then you turn from me

and walk back into the crowd

 

Return To Silence


What’s the old saying: “Pleasure is 9/10 anticipation”.  Ain’t that the truth! Well, in some cases it certainly seems so anyway.

There are times where we can drum ourselves up into thinking that something will be way better than the reality of what actually happens. Then it can be a let down or a disappointment in some way. Or, at the very least, it can give us a new outlook on our lives, the way we do things or what we may have been thinking about our future.

That’s certainly what happened with the recent visit with my friend. Not that I had built it up into some great expectation. I have known this person for many years, and our relationship has gone through many convolutions over the past. So I knew the potential for the visit to be a certain way (boring, not what I might hope etc.) was very real.
But even when one knows ahead of time that things might not be wonderful, it’s still a bit of a downer when those expectations are filled! I guess as a hopeful individual, one can still think that another person might have changed a bit, or grown, or wants different things at this stage of the game.

In the end though, I’ve learned by now, that in order for people to really change in any way (great or small)–it takes very hard work and concentration, which most folks can’t give or don’t have. And most people either don’t realize or believe they need changing. Maybe they don’t either–it’s only according to someone else’s perception.

So where does that leave things? Well, a visit within tight quarters for almost a week can become uncomfortable and tiresome. For me, as someone used to living alone for many years now, I began to ache for my solitude. My patience and sense of being a good hostess begins to wan. All I really wanted was my space back…  It’s not that I disliked the other person, but I began to see all the little things about them that make me realize why I live alone now.

For years I have gone back and forth in my head about living alone. Will I be OK this way for the long haul? Is there something inadequate with me that makes it hard for me to be around others? Am I safe by myself? Am I truly happy this way? But I see others more and more living as I do and I find I am not so unusual. Many of us have come to this place after years of living with other people. And now we live alone by choice.

As we grow older, it is easy to become isolated, but the need for space and solitude also becomes a treasure. The years given in service to others–kids, spouses, pets, jobs, parents, families–can bring you to a point where the peace of one’s home is a blessing.

Having guests over is not a bad thing by any means, especially when they contribute to the well-being of one’s life and soul. But the return to the quiet when they leave is a sound I am also grateful to hear.

The Next Decade


As I boldly step into this sixtieth decade, where this woman has never gone before, I sense it will be an interesting one. I already know that I will be experiencing things that have never happened to me before, and portray roles unknown to me. This is both scary and exhilarating at the same time!

Ten years, while it may seem like a long time, can quickly speed by. The last ten certainly did and brought with them so many ups and downs. While I can’t ignore the past decade and its emotional pitfalls spattered with the not as memorable good snapshots, I’ve decided to do the sensible (and recommended) thing and live in the now.

So that even means not looking too far down the road of the next decade, although there are enjoyable moments where I can’t help it. Hey, my kids are all off doing their own things now, I’m single by choice, my health is good and I have a great imagination! Why not, then, occasionally dream about what may be in my future? All the fun places I might chose to live, or a new career choice, people I may meet, my future creations…the possibilities are as big as my mind.

But we don’t get there except by living day by day. And I plan to make each one of those days as satisfying as I can. My plan is to stay healthy and positive, remain open to new ideas and keep learning/reading/researching. With all these things, maybe the next decade will be decent. I’m not reaching for the moon, just a good walk on this troubled earth.

Most of all, I want to remember to be in the now, breathe and stay in constant touch with the world around me. Hopefully this may help to slow the next 10 years a tiny bit.

Happily Ever After


So it seems very often (more than once a week even), either in a social gathering or speaking with a friend or relative, the topic always seems to come up that I’m single. That in itself is no big deal, but rapidly on its heel always seems to be some comment related to the fact that I will somehow in the near future be meeting the man of my dreams.

I guess I’m here to say that I’m getting tired of this presumption on many levels. First of all, I don’t want to meet a man. Second of all, I don’t believe there is a ‘man of my dreams’. Third of all, I’m perfectly happy single. Fourthly, maybe I wouldn’t want to be with a man. The list may even go on.

My question is: why does everyone I meet or talk to assume that I need to be with someone? Do I personally exude some ‘loneliness’ hormone? Do I look pathetic and sad? Is it that they are so all fired joyful and happy being in a relationship that they feel everyone needs to be? I simply don’t get it.

Take my mother for instance: understand she is not your typical mother. While she is in her 80’s, she is a very liberated woman. She raised me to believe I could be anyone or anything I wanted to be. She was married twice, but now lives with a man 91 years young and refuses to marry him! But that doesn’t stop her from constantly chiding me every other conversation we have with the old: when you least expect it.

People don’t understand that if you don’t want it, it doesn’t matter when you least expect it. I’ve had many, many experiences with multiple husbands and boyfriends and dates. I find it very hard to picture now trying again. In fact picturing it simply freaks me out. So even if it happened, I would most likely walk away.

And it’s not just ‘them’, it’s me. I’m very quirky: vegan, gluten-free, a diligent athlete, a paramedic with weird hours, dog lover, cat lover, very liberal (in an area that isn’t always that way), outspoken, ADD, OCD….well, you get the idea. I mean fitting someone into my life at this point could be, well, let’s just say problematic. He would have to have “Saint” in front of his name.

In ‘our’ stages of life we carry around all our ‘stuff’ as George Carlin says: we each have our homes, our own jobs, our own families, sets of friends, ways of doing things (that’s not the way I put the dishes away). It becomes increasingly difficult to blend with someone else this late in life.

Sure I sit in bed with my dog at night and wonder about it, but then I think: how could I share my bed again? I take up the whole bed now! I wouldn’t want my dog banished to the floor. Or my three pillows, or the three blankets I use in the winter. Hey, it’s cold!

One good reason to have a man around would be safety. Some days I don’t feel safe living alone. It used to feel OK living where I do by myself, but now nothing feels safe anymore. Or if I was up on the roof raking the leaves and I fell off, at least he could call 911. Or wait, maybe HE could rake the roof! Or better yet, we could do it together? No, he would be watching the game. No wait, I don’t have a TV–and don’t want one! Yup, another quirk.

So, I just wish people would leave me be. I wish they would stop being cute or whatever it is when they say: when you least expect it, or just stop trying so hard (who’s trying?) or well you don’t want to be alone forever…. Who knows, maybe I do!

I’m happy for those married couples that manage to stay together. Good for them. And am never surprised when another couple gets divorced.  But for me, I like my life just as it is: two dogs, two cats, one daughter in and out occasionally. I was raised an only child and find my own company quite sufficient. As long as I have some friends, NPR, nature, a good book, my computer, my yoga, my thoughts and my phone then I will live happily ever after….by myself.

Be Careful What You Wish For


What seems like a million years ago I used to lay in bed next to my husband and dream for the days I would be single. I would imagine the apartment I would get, how I would decorate it, the freedom I would have, how I would feel and how much better off I would be. Endlessly I would contemplate this dream and want to make it so. When I would go for my daily jog I would think about it too. Being unhappy within my marriage, being single seemed the solution to all my troubles.

Tonight, sitting at my dining room table, alone once again, eating my dinner and listening to NPR’s A Prairie Home Companion with my dogs circling my feet–I was struck by how long ago that wish was and how my life has turned out. I got my wish and I am single. While I have had boyfriends on and off for many years, none have ever really stuck and so have remained mostly alone. Alone except for in the earlier years when my daughters lived with me and now occasionally when they come home for a bit. And of course I live in the company of many furry friends.

So was this dream a good thing and did I get what I wanted in the long run? This is what we always end up asking ourselves with so many things we want I suppose. I have a routine in my life it seems that pretty much follows the same pattern all the time. Partly because I’m pretty obsessive compulsive and I like it that way and partly because dogs tend to like it that way too. But I do find this can become boring and mundane. And when you have no-one in your life to share things, it can be especially dull.

Getting out of the marriage was probably for the best. But I suppose I never figured I would continue on this was for so long! There used to be a desperation surrounding the way I felt I needed to be with someone. That certainly has changed for me–especially after all the terrible experiences I’ve had dating and in relationships. I’m not even sure I do want to be in a relationship again. What I do know is that there are certainly moments where the silence echoes pretty loudly and I have a huge sense of being disconnected from the world. Plus I guess there are days I simply miss love. I don’t mean sex because I don’t miss that at all, but just the caring part of being in a good relationship. So there is a huge ambivalence.

So for all the determination to get out and be single I find now, years and years of it are maybe not what I expected or imagined. Like they say: be careful what you wish for! In my mind’s eye I never pictured never-ending nights of dinners alone with only the radio for conversation. Or that as I got older it might have been nice to have someone help shovel my roof when the snow got two feet deep. No, I didn’t think of those things as I dreamed of independence and freedom and what my cute little apartment would look like once I was unencumbered.

I am not unhappy, but I’m not always content either. And still I wonder is this where I should be and is living alone the right thing for me? It surely felt right all those nights I imagined it laying in bed next to the husband I wanted to divorce. But now that it’s reality and has been for so long? Well….I don’t know? Maybe I’ll ask the dogs what they think about it?

Poem: Another Night


Another night

I sit here

And wonder

At my inability

To be sitting

With someone else

And why

So many people

I know

Spend nights

With people

They go home to

I think about

Some of them

And think

About me

It’s not

That I’m great

Or they’re not

But it makes

Me wonder

Why I sit here

By myself

And they don’t

I’m not sad

Just curious

Often perplexed

What is the formula

Or do I just

Spend my nights

Tapping my keys

Sitting in silence

Thinking my thoughts

And wondering