Friday, January 2, 2009

Cabin In The Woods - Originally published Oct. 18, 2005 in Live Journal

I have this story in my head. The main character is an older, eccentric woman who lives a peaceful, unstressed life in a small cabin (gingerbread? candycane fence?) in a wooded area that appears secluded but is not too far off the track...meaning Wal-Mart is within a reasonable distance for all necessities. The woman is perfectly happy growing her grey hair long, wearing her best clothes to water the garden, and sleeping all day and writing all night. The little woods get some snow in winter. In fall the scarlet, orange and yellow leaves flood the ground. Here Christmas is always around the bend. The air is fresh. The stars are blinding.

Of course the woman is me. I have found in my 40s that I have started to get really territorial and more "earthy." I enjoy puttering. I actually LIKE doing the dishes and gazing out the window at the huge back part of our property as I do so. I like lots of colors in my home, purples, blues, greens, and lots of coziness (so there are pillows and throws everywhere.) When I was in my 20s, I used to think the bridge of the Starship Enterprise would make the perfect, beautiful, stark living room. I loved the simplicity, the futuristic sterility and clean line, the big wall-sized tv, and the cool blinking lights of technology. Now, 20 years later, I couldn't be more opposite from that young woman who published Star Trek fanzines, and who wrote stories and poetry about robots, vampires, time-travel and ghosts. That woman was content with a corner for her papers and books, didn't mind moving every four years and did not care what color her bedroom was painted. What has changed? Well, nothing. And everything. I'm still me. But I have a need for more solitude, and I have an urge to create more of a nest and make it my territory. Maybe I didn't feel that 20 years ago because my business then kept me at home, and I read and wrote a lot, which required me to be alone a lot. Now my retail business takes me away from home much of the year, and keeps my life in a kind chaos, both at home and away from home, about nine months out of the year. I long for that quietude to return again. And combined with that, there is the urge to make the nest cozy, and stamp it with my eccentric tastes.

I realize I am fortunate to have been able to run and live off my own businesses much of my life, with a few hard times thrown in to make it interesting. I have not been forced to punch too many time clocks past the age of 25, or answer to weird bosses whose demands make little or no sense and whose own job descriptions are mysterious but powerful and therefore intimidating. But still, what is this longing for more solitude, and where is this cabin? I often think the cabin is where I currently live. It is up to me to make it like my fantasy story. And my current chaotic business has supplied some funds for fixing it up, so that's a benefit from all the hard work, and the lack of solitude during that work. It is an ongoing process and I have to remember that is the fun part. If I already had the cabin and the solitude, I might ask, after awhile, now what? I have to remember life is about the journey, not the destination. If we get too focused on the end result, we miss it all entirely.

So off I go to light candles that smell of rain and pine, to fill my rooms with crescent moons and orange leaves, to put on my prettiest ankle-length skirt, my rhinestone bracelets, my silver rings, and go outside and water the trees.

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