After the Envy of Old Strangers


I had so much to say, and now there is not much to say at all.

A quietness is the need of the moment.

I used to walk so quickly, everywhere, for any reason, for no reason.

And now it is SLOW. So… slow.

I think it’s learned.

The days of racing around, sweating, killing myself for a buck every night. It had become a habit that spilled over into everything. The pace of stress, of urgency.

A state of panic was normal.

But we can also trace that back to a sad childhood. A university education can teach you skills, but it can’t teach you that you deserve to use them.

Those days are another life. This life is different.

It’s a Friday night and I could be the one to go out. I used to envy those who had the luxury. I’m not going to but I feel so lucky.

This is my own kitchen table, by the window with the view of the hills, the neighbors’ yards and rooftops, a tall pine tree, fog rolling in over the evening. I can watch the sky go dark.

A flat of nectarines in front of me. A half-glass of wine.

Fish, rice, cauliflower – not much in the fridge right now but it’s enough for dinner.

I don’t need as much of everything as I used to. Too much, was routine. I don’t need to devour everything. I can just exist with it.

This didn’t happen overnight. It took two and a half years to begin to settle in.

Nothing is particularly urgent anymore, unless I want it to be. Emergency is no longer routine.

Emergency is no longer a lifestyle.

It’s so much more enjoyable. But mostly I am surprised by it.

I didn’t know it could be this way.

I never knew how anyone could be so calm.

I am grateful to be bored.