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Solitude & Kinship

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January? (What January.)

I’m comfortable with a month passing me by, rather than chasing it. Imperfect health brought solitude as its companion. Space and time stretched for a bit, leaving me to suffer through a winter cold in peace.

No, I’m not that brave. It was mitigated peace: misery, that I thought it would never end.

At some point, I picked up (for the umpteenth time) a readable old favorite. It’s easy to lose myself in the narrative flow, and so I did. With lyricless music in the background, I listened until I heard all the pauses between notes. How much clearer they sound projected with a sound system nicer than I had before (thank you, self-Santa).

A day dawns that’s brighter than the last, then another – and another, until you realize you’re truly well again.


You figure out who your true compatriots are, at times like this. I don’t mean people who come by every day with fragrant bowls of soup (though it’s quite lovely, and welcome – thank you, and hello, lemongrass!) no, I mean those who reach out and offer real succor. One delightful soul crossed two counties and braved two curious pets (she dislikes domesticates of any species, except human) to bring me a panful of pasta. We sat there in silence for some time, without words. We’ve known each other well enough that they really weren’t necessary. Somehow, we went from calm to cackling like banshees, over a glass of wine (for her) and restorative chai (with basil and ginger, for me).

Then there was the one conspicuous with his absence and silence, who popped online in the wee hours to say “I knew you’d be awake. I set my alarm early to say hi. Tell me how you’ve been while I have my coffee.” He could have been next door, or hundreds of miles away, but that morning, he sat across from me.

I slept well into the afternoon that day – better than I had in days.


There are moments when I missed people, this past month. Thank goodness for social media – open up any one page, and I have chatter galore. Including gentle missives to “get well – and call when you’re feeling up to it.” Kindness comes in many forms, and one of those is from my more exuberant friends, who understand that retreating from the world is as basic to me as participating in it.

With these compatriots, the ones who offer succor, I’ll share a meal (soon). The food will be good – we never go by halves on taste or texture. So will the fun – we always laugh. What I’ll cherish is in between those pauses: between comments and bites of food, when we’re entirely at peace and sure of one another.


Written by marginfades

February 7, 2012 at 9:15 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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