It is my first day at Sea aboard the Oasis of the Seas and we are sailing the Western Caribbean. I take some time to gather my writing goals for the week. I decide to go back and read past journal entries and I find this one. And I marvel at how my feelings on certain subjects remain the same year after year. And, I am grateful that, in some ways, at least I am consistent.
It is 9:24am and having arrived early for my meeting with Angela, I sit at a round orange pedastal table against the wall of the Barnes and Noble Cafe savoring my Caramel Macchiato and reflecting on all that has passed and all that could be. It is a moment of deep reflection blended with the mundane. To my left, a couple sits enjoying their own breakfast version of coffee and a muffin, passing commentary on whether one has tried the other’s delectable latte version. I think about time. How fleeting it is and what a waste I have made of most of my life. Or have I? I am so hard on myself- why? What is it about my life that seems to fall so short of the bar I have set for myself, for which I seem to never be able to attain success? The bottom line is that I too often compare others lives with that of my own. I look to their experiences in the hopes that I can one day perhaps mirror their realities. Then I am drawn back to my present moment and I listen to the tunes filtering through the line of my ear buds from Spotify. Right now, I am playing one of my favorite play lists which contains pieces from Handel, Rachmaninoff, Beethoven and pieces also from the soundtrack The Piano. This is the movie that starred Harvey Keitel and Holly Hunt- set in turn of the century South Pacific somewhere. I have very vague memories of the actual theme of the movie- it was about a woman and a little girl played by Anna Pacquin- who moved to this remote place that had a beach, rain forest, aboriginal peoples, and she – this lady – brought along this piano that was a required part of her daily life. And the pieces she played were incredible …they to this day do something drastic to my soul. Truly. Classical music moves my spirit in a way that nothing else can touch. So I love this soundtrack and realize that I must find a way to get ahold of that movie again and watch it. There was violence involved- she had her finger cut offf which curtailed her ability to play the piano… horrific moment.. and I do not even know why that happened, what prompted it. And was it in New Zealand, Australia or a French Polynesian Island? What was the exact time period? Why were they there? I have such vague memories of the overall plot … but the music- oh my, the music. I have had other experiences like that over the years- with movies like: The Mission- which introduced me to Ennio Morricone, and also Adiemus. I enjoyed the movies- but it was the music that followed me out of the theater and made me buy the soundtracks and listen to them over and over and over again.
I think about how isolated I am in this experience- I don’t know one soul that has this same passion about music. I have no one to share it with- is this perhaps the disatisfaction that I face? Angela has said and written about the notion of wondering “where are my people”. I feel this same way -most of the time. Like I was dropped on this planet as an experiment- to see how I could manage surrounded by other beings that had nothing in common with me. I have so many vivid memories of moments when, in a rush of excitement to share something I had experienced- the person on the receiving end of my commentary glazes over and it is obvious that whatever it is that I am trying to convey has absolutely no impact on the recipient. This is actually a regular occurence for me- just about daily. And, I wonder- why? Why do I have these passions ..to experience them myself and just enjoy them- probably. Is there a need really, to have someone else mirror back the same contentment that I experience in these moments? I recall the time I was in Rome and was standing at the Trevi Fountain. I was the only single soul standing there marveling at this fountain with sculpted horses in action as if jumping out of the fountain in fear. I had no one to turn to to say “wow”. And I remember how sad I was about that. Or, standing inside the Sistine Chapel at the Vatican on a bus tour full of other people that were either couples or families traveling together, best friends on a trip together- and then there was me… standing there under Michaelangelo’s Creation – in awe… alone.
So I wonder – does it matter? Why do I have a sense of loss when I experience these moments alone? Why do I long to have those moments shared by someone else. And the specific and more probing question is- would that other person even get why I was so mesmerized by those horses or by the music or by the piece of art work depicting the creation and biblical moments- like the Garden of Eden on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel? Would that person stand there with me, nod his head and then move on? What am I looking for in the shared experience? Having that person stand with me – simply be present with me? Or, for that person to look at me and for there to be this connection.. this moment of complete understanding that comes from having the same passion. And, what are the odds – if I were a betting woman, to be able to find this type of partnership? I admit that I am not looking actively because I fear the risk of getting tangled up in another disatsifying unbalanced partnership that ends up being more service than mutual partnership and enjoyment.
Not finding other souls that share the same deep interests and understandings is difficult- it means that the life experience is more of a solo journey filled with obligations. Is this the reason that my marriages – in part – failed? I was stuck in these relationships with people who had absolutely no clue what made me tick, and nor did I know what made them tick and- neither of us could figure out how to move to the next step to learn about one another, to feel what the other felt. And, with our busy schedules and obligations ..time trodded along, and the experience of being part of a “couple” felt so bland and blank… and pointless. I was there to satisfy his sexual needs- mine were satisfied in part, but honestly, it felt more like servicing him. And, the payment was null. No real mutual benefit ..so then, why stay? So, I did not stay. I eventually got out of both of those prison cells and launched myself into freedom… healing a bit along the way and then finding myself here- a solo traveler. I enjoy my music, I enjoy my dog, I enjoy my parents, I enjoy globe trotting without having to gain access to a permission slip from another party that might find my globe trotting interest offensive or a waste of precious resources. I don’t have to get permission to buy the vehicle I want to buy. I don’t have to beg to go to the restaurant I want to go to instead of the one that makes him excited, I don’t have to hope that the movie we pick will be one I like. I don’t have to share the dinner entree on the menu with him that he picks. I can pick what I want on the dinner menu and eat it myself. These all sound likely – like bizarre expressions of freedom- but to someone whose life was directed by another strong personality during two marriage episodes, the very idea of a third foray into this bizarre arrangement leaves me falling flat. There is this comment I hear from people that one day I will find someone- so that I don’t have to grow old alone. Well, maybe I won’t have to – maybe I will live with several canine friends that keep me company, organizing my time as I see fit, enjoying nature, writing, music, and also- friendships. I do need to get more involved in volunteer and other organizations that offer an outlet for social time and make life interesting- get things on the calendar.
Other than that- this time with the keyboard has been once again, fruitful. I can count on the keyboard to help me organize my thoughts, to help me put down on virtual paper- the essence of the discontent and then I have a way to observe it through a different lense that brings focus on the situation and a better perspective.
Sometimes I come away from these sessions a bit more blue. Today, I feel encouraged. It’s been months since my last daily pages entry… and I am glad that I have re-opened this outlet of thought. I need to do this much more often.