It looks like a Christmas picture postcard outside my window. Just the perfect amount of snow to make it beautiful, but not treacherous to drive. I am still in the Berkshires, having survived my first Thanksgiving without being surrounded by family. I went to an “orphan’s Thanksgiving” at my director’s house. He and his wife open their home every year to people like me that are away from their loved ones. It was glorious. I cooked with girlfriends and we took our favorite dishes and joined with about 20 people to feast and watch movies. It was just what I needed; relaxing, homey, a dog, a fireplace, and friends falling asleep on the couch. We were all exhausted after the long hours of working at the Fall Festival (see “Shakespeare on their tongues…” ), so to have permission to kick back and do nothing was pretty grand.
I am missing my own house, my own space, my “stuff” that has been in storage for 7 months. I am tired of living in a shared house with people with different standards; not everybody does their dishes, they leave pizza to sitting in the living room to rot for days, beer bottles strewn around, half empty cups of dark liquid, cigarette butts on the porch, urine on the toilet and floor, and I walk into the house more times than not smelling marijuana and seeing the television on to some stupid show. I am trying to be a great roommate and endure all this with good humor, but really I am just stuffing my feelings. “It’s only for a short period of time,” I tell myself, but eventually it gets to me and I admit that this really is sickening to my soul.
I want beauty, magic and peace in my living space. Music, art, poetry, flickering candles, firelight, great books, somewhere to dance, and a piano to play, some place to eat and read in peace other than in my own clean bedroom. Wow, just writing all this shows me how very unhappy I am with the living arrangement. But it is also right for now. Free housing is my payment for the work I’m doing. I am able to save money. My daughter Alicia, laughed at me this week on the phone and said, “It’s your turn to see what we have been living with, going to a laundromat and living with roommates.” OK, I’ll accept that for a while, but I hope I do not have to live like this for long. Whatever lesson I am to learn I hope I learn it quick!
This week I found out there was a terrible fire at my storage unit complex. Eighty-one units out of 500 were destroyed. It was strange to think that all of my worldly possessions could have gone up in smoke, all the family photos, furniture, special jewelry, Christmas ornaments we have collected, so many memories. But thankfully my unit was spared. It‘s another reason to want a home, a place to put my things and not keep paying rent to keep stuff that could go up in a poof. I am yet again in a holding pattern, waiting for the path to open up to the next phase of my living, and hoping that it includes a home.
I am falling more and more in love with my little town of Lenox. I am meeting people in the community, and I even helped to set up the Lionel train display in the darling bookshop in town. The owner, Matt, is in a play with me and invited me to his traditional night before Thanksgiving train event. It was sweet, very hometown-quaint and delightful. And it reminds me what I am missing by being a roving artist. Can this mean that I am ready to settle down? And could it be that I would be able to settle on the East coast so far from my daughters and family? These are weighty questions and I don’t have answers quite yet.
I went back to my pond a few times over the Thanksgiving break, and saw the first ice forming. Bitterly cold but utterly beautiful. I was surprised to hear Annie’s Song by John Denver blaring from the one occupied campsite on the hillside. I smiled from deep inside my soul to hear one of my favorite artists singing a very special song out here in the wild. It took me back to high school and my teacher Lowell Young singing this song to his lovely wife. I look forward to finding a love like this again. For now I am singing to myself and being completely content to walk in the rain with my own thoughts and fill my senses with my own desires and dreams.
I heard from my friend, James, the motorcycle guy I met in Arkansas this summer (see Whiskey Whittlin’). He was so sweetly in love with me but I did not feel the same way and I made it clear from the beginning that we were just friends. He texted me almost daily for a few months and I kept assuring him that he was special, but not for me, and he would find someone who was perfect. I am very happy to report that he has found “Samantha.” It makes me so glad to know that I have a friend that I did not offend by not loving him back, and that it has paid off for him to keep looking. Truly delightful! I can sing along to Annie’s Song and be hopeful that life and destiny can change in a magical instant.
You fill up my senses like a night in the forest
Like the mountains in springtime, like a walk in the rain
Like a storm in the desert, like a sleepy blue ocean
You fill up my senses, come fill me again
Come let me love you, let me give my life to you
Let me drown in your laughter, let me die in your arms
Let me lay down beside you, let me always be with you
Come let me love you, come love me again