This morning was one of those moments when you know that summer said it's good-byes last evening as it was tucked in, and the autumn chill crept over the land into our little neighborhood. After the family was on their way, I took Ellie and went back to the walking path. The temperature dropped to chilly and instead of putting on layers, I wore my shorts and a light jacket because I wanted to feel the chill--it had been a long time. The air stung my legs, making them all pink and I could take deep breaths like when you drink ice water and it clears your thoughts and makes you wake up completely. There was a sort of grey fog hovering around the trees and the pretty Queen Anne's lace was still standing, smiling at me in places, but some were curled up, brown. Congregating in masses in the fields they take on a burgundy color, hinting at the holidays that are about to come upon us. The goldfinches and their beautiful purple thistle have disappeared, at least the hundreds that we used to see daily. Ellie is in her bliss in this weather. Her coat is getting fuller and her tail is held higher as she sniffs autumn.
We made it around the half-way point and then I felt an icy drop hit my face. I could feel the rain coming. I knew we'd be alone this morning as most people don't like to be out in it. Then it started to come down in bigger drops and instead of covering up, I just let them hit me in the face and on my hair. It's that kind of feeling you had when you were little, and playing in the rain was a bit magical,... at least something to embrace instead of run inside from. Ellie kept flinching when it would hit her in the eye. The rain reminded me of gentle tears and I felt really alone, like I was the only person who existed right now. I didn't know if it was just how I've been feeling the past few days. I have a lot of friends who I love dearly and of course, my family. But sometimes I think that there is no one to share in understanding exactly how I view the world and the feelings I have inside. My mom used to tell me I was "unique" and I took that as a compliment. It also meant that I felt like it was impossible to share me completely with someone else. They would never understand. They wouldn't have the same worries about the troubles in the world that I worried about at an early age. They wouldn't sense things like a slight change in weather and hear nature "talk" to them like it does to me. They couldn't understand what it's like to draw something and look at it as if it was taking on life itself and love life into it. To understand just what I meant in that picture without needing the words to express it. To see someone and instinctually know if there was goodness in that person's heart and to just love people with such a deepness to it that it hurts. To pray to God and then feel Him comfort you when your parents are fighting and there's no one to turn to. To feel like your soul is so old but so naive and young at the same time. Maybe this is the way other artists feel. But I don't know. It is the loneliness in me that creates the art I suppose, to speak your personal truths out and find it mirrored out there somewhere. I haven't released it in a long, long time. There hasn't been a recipient. And maybe there really will never be. It was much too much for one walk to think about and I've been unable to eat or sleep properly now for several days. The loneliness settled in the pit of my stomach. I clutched the leash harder and was glad for the silent company of Ellie. She is happy. That makes me happy in that moment. That's what my cats always did for me too when I'd bury my face in their fur. Dogs live in the moment.
Then it just let loose and came down harder and we picked up the pace to a run. It was a good soaking rain and I took the leash off Ellie so she could run home faster. But she would run and then stop, making sure her "sheep" was still coming! I saw the Scottish herder in her as she ran and I could tell nothing could make her more happy. Running freely in the rain, letting it chill you down to the bone and get dripping wet was as good as jumping into a swimming pool in the muggy summer heat. By the time we reached the back porch, we were both soaked through. I covered her in a towel and tried to get the dampness out of her coat. I stripped off my clothes right there, as no one else would be as crazy as me to go running in this rain and be outside! We came into the warm house, and are still trying to get the chill off of our toes. It is quiet, just the Adagio from Serenade #10 in B Major playing in the background and a bird calling in the yard. People are yelling for me from my email...too many. They didn't have or take the time to run in the rain this morning. They are oblivious to what is there right now...the peace and the plants who are preparing for a good winter sleep. I just want to curl up and find that perfect sleep too.
This charcoal drawing was done in a drawing class in 1988...my word to respond to was "lonely". It is a self-portrait which I drew from life. I had mirrors propped above me and at my side and my drawing paper next to me too. There was an undercurrent of loneliness during those years when my parents were newly divorced and dealing with their own pain, the boy I loved went thousands of miles away to college at Rice U. in Texas. He was my best friend but we ended up growing apart over all that time away from each other. And all my girlfriends were also at different universities around the country. I stayed at U.C. which was close to home. At least I met Caroline my sophmore year and immediately knew she was someone very special. Unique.