It’s been feeling very January around here lately. It’s gray, it’s wet, it’s cold, it’s quiet. The moment the sky clears I lace up my sneakers and get out on the trails but I spend a lot of time inside watching the trees bend with the wind, the rain float by in sheets. I’m deep in January - the month and maybe the state of being. I’m sitting in the depth of winter in many ways.
The poet Tracy Kay Smith wrote “Perhaps the greatest error is believing we’re alone”. I’ve been making that error a lot lately. I’ve been living in that error. I’m in the middle of a cloud, I see shadows as figures pass, I feel their glancing presence, but I am untouchable.
And I know that is an error. I know, almost as much through writing this blog as anything else, that I have company. There are loads of people who feel alone, even if they’re partnered, even if they’re surrounded by people. I imagine we all feel that way at some point. I’m just having a hard time getting beyond myself to connect to that commonality - to find that reflection in someone else.''
Remember back in the fall when I was trying to convince myself not to want to date? When I was trying to be alone? That desire to meet someone new, to hear their story, to expose my heart - that fire is out, at least for the time being. I have no doubt this is part of the process. I’m finally at a place where I want solitude, I can’t imagine doing anything else, and, yeah, sometimes it feels a little empty.
Because of the nature of my work, which largely consists of constructing garments out of second-hand cashmere in my under-the-carport studio, I can spend long periods without talking to anyone in a real way, with the exception of my children. And my kids are terrific company but peer contact is vital and often missing in these short, dark days. I have long conversations with myself, in my head, but it’s not the same as getting those thoughts out in the air, letting them touch oxygen to see if they’ll live or die.
It’s naturally a fallow season, a time to turn inwards. There’s nothing wrong with that. Just sometimes it feels like this winter is going to last forever. Summer seems impossible.