I’ve been doing a lot of existential meandering of late. It can be attributed, maybe, to my mother’s 88th birthday and our discussions about death, about being able to choose death, to depart with dignity when one feels the time has come.
Too, money-capitalist construct-requirements have been popping out at me, practical matters of where I will eventually land, how I will maintain myself and serious contemplation and consideration of what of my life, my lifestyle, I actually NEED to be happy — which resulted in me being gobsmacked by the questions: Can I actually be happy? What is it I mean to be doing in my life now? When does one know the time for one’s exit has come?
Well, I can’t quite answer those questions yet. I did, however, determine the following along the way: I would very much like to have a room of my own, bathed in light, silence suffused.
I would fill it with my treasures, valuable only to me.
And I would read there. Write there. Simply be there.
In the light. As a young man, teens, my room was in the basement of the family home. During much of my twenties, I lived in a basement room. Now, here where I am, again, I am in a room without windows. I need light. And volume I control. And a private entrance.
I am a man who probably ought to have been a hermit. In many ways, I am not the sort who does well in the company of others. I do love people, yes, some people very much, and while I think Virginia Woolf was right about needing a room of one’s own, also, that room must have windows, one must feel that it is a permanent place, and there must be privacy, doors, the ability to come and go and entertain without being watched, measured, recorded. Yes, I love people, but it is not a denigration or judgment of them to say that sometimes I need the recharging of silence, of solitude, of taking care of only me.
(And, I know, I am the sort from whom one also needs respite – I wear people out, quite quickly with my emotions, my singing, my me-ness. I get that. I am not offended by it. I am a person who ought to be visited, not lived-with.)
I have built many lives, but I’ve not been much good at securing my privacy or my light.
I need, I think, if my time is not through, to be somewhere in the light, above ground.
Well, then. More to think about. For now, here I am, sitting in the basement, not going.