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(above artwork and poetry by heather bauer)

“this look of sorrow as she walked among the fires – it was familiar to him – he had felt that way when he was younger. how to talk about it, how to talk about such things. when he was a boy he was happy when the men arrived (the men who drove the horses to the land and would work in the orchards) and in a way wanted them to stay forever – but he was also anxious that they had arrived and he was no longer alone. the sorrow came from those two feelings – the happiness of company and the anxiety of interrupted solitude.”

-from the novel “the orchardist” by Amanda coplin

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I love being by myself. eating meals at home or in restaurants. solo. taking myself out for a glass of wine, go to a movie, a play, a party. alone and with no wish to meet someone or run into any one. just taking in the event with no distractions. a bike ride, a hike. I love to travel by myself, take long drives and even road trips alone. or just sit silently on my couch gazing out the window listening to myself breathe. I can do all of those things blissfully alone and never, ever feel awkward. at all. I love that. a lot.

it is the one down side of having someone in your life, you are no longer alone as much and trying to maintain that delicate balance between happiness for the company and the anxiety of interrupted solitude, is rather tricky at times.

being in a room with the door closed with someone else in the house is not the same as being alone in your house. not even close. sometimes there is a precious sweetness to that proximity and sometimes not… i was married once and lived with 2 men at other times in my life. I cannot ever imagine myself living with someone again.

I realize that I want it all, and that is just how I roll. I love my solitude, my freedom, my space, my home, my schedule, me being in control of everything…yes, I said it. “me being in control of everything.” you can quote me on that.

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I am also an incredibly social, friendly, loving creature who has a lot of friends. real friends, not Facebook friends. friends who I give my time and attention to and look them in the eyes and hold their hands when we talk. i have coffee, and lunch, and make meals and share wine and trade body work and watch their children, and return phone calls in the middle of the night. my daughter is the center of my world, and when she is with me, I orchestrate my life to put her first. my mother lives 6 blocks away, we have a standing date night every Tuesday and talk everyday and see each other almost as often. my father and brother have been more in my communication loop than ever before.

I am also a yoga teacher and massage therapist. I take those interactions with students and clients very much to heart. more tending of others. I do an incredible amount of tending of others…

I also desire deep connection with someone significant. not because I am afraid to be alone, but because I love BIG and that is a waste to not share it with someone deserving of that. love loves to love love. we want to be desired and petted and loved and adored and seen and heard and witnessed in a way that actually means something, with someone who really means it.

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and then….i want to be alone. and miss them all. and think about them. and feel that tug of longing. and while I am feeling so delighted to have so much love in my life, from so many different sources, i am sweeping my floors, changing the sheets on my bed, burning sage, arranging flowers in vases, plumping pillows, reading books, listening to music, writing blogs, petting cats, cooking meals, and folding laundry, taking dance and yoga classes, laughing with my daughter, watching movies, tending to myself, nurturing my soul. and yes, probably on some level, feeling safer and more in control because it is just my space. and I like it that way very much thank you.

it is my beautiful selfish gift to myself, and i am all the more for it. everyone wins.

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“when he was gone the place took on a delicious strangeness, she often felt she was looking at things for the first time.

there was a  certain uncanniness angeline felt in opening her closet in the morning. her oatmeal dress hanging in the space on it’s hanger, her workboots leaning against each other on the porch. the narrow bed with it’s purple red and green quilt, the bedside table with it’s jar of rocks, piled books. the porcelain basin where she washed her face. the apricot orchard, the buzzing bees like a haze in the spring. the barn, the smell of hay and manure and grease and old leather. the sun streaming through the slats. the mules nose in her palm.

being alone, she was able to see each thing more clearly. although there was fear in solitude, somehow, this only made things sharper. it could not be sustained, this solitude, this level of sensitivity, but for the short time that he was away it was glorious.

it was a great gift to herself.”

-from “the orchardist”-