Did I notice, after I got my first apartment, that a certain crucial thrill came from finding everything just as I'd left it when I opened the refrigerator door? I must have, and stored the memory away. But it wasn't until I had a baby that solitude looked interesting, became an elusive commodity. Now with the baby, I couldn't choose my state of being anymore: Accompanied, by myself, quiet, festive - nothing was up to me. Now instead of finding time to fill as I would (a chance to make phone calls, to meet my husband for lunch, a chance to fill up with other people), I was with my baby, the glue of his saliva dampening the front of my shirt, his tendril limbs wrapped around my body, and his thick, soft fingers in my mouth when I opened it to say something.
For work I was reviewing movies, and all of a sudden this was the greatest job in the world because it gave me a chance to undo myself from the baby and go. Alone. There in the car at the stoplight, there in the line to buy a ticket, and in the brief, crackling dark before previews, I felt quiet and wonderful, there was a pause and a peace. And when the movie was over, I returned to my family, renewed and ready.
I like to be alone now. I like to taste the honey on the toast, to consider the bee batting against the window. In solitude I come together, collect the errant bits of me that have wandered away, and reassemble them . Solitude is so fiercely that: the chance to still oneself. From its sacred corner I look out, see the wide world, and feel my singular place in it.
repost from American Elle: "The Most Important Thing I've Learned"
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