Talking about living behind shuttered windows the other day brought a few more thoughts up that are a bit less than comfortable.
Here I am in my own little world, only to be startled to find the Great Dane next door gone. I heard and saw nothing. I wondered if the dog died, though I did hear him bark late last night. His chain and line are gone, and so is his water bucket and food dish. Sad, I felt saddened and at a loss. What happened to the dog? Hearing car doors slam, I peaked out through the window blinds and saw two pickups drive off, loaded with furniture. My neighbors are moving out, and I never got to meet them.
Back in my younger days, I had often felt an outsider, always standing on the outer fringe of life, never a part of anything and always alone. The loneliness was hard and fast; I had no idea if anyone else felt the same way, or if they did, would the feeling pass. After awhile, I decided it didn’t matter. I would define my morals and values based on my own sense of right and wrong and build an ethical way of being based on what I felt to be true. That I was on the outside looking in no longer mattered.
No, it didn’t bother me any longer. My sense of self was based on my ability to feel, feel deeply and sense the connectedness of everything, of life. I could look out my window and see nature. I could watch the wind blow the leaves in the tree, the clouds drift by, the sun shining down and the grass growing. I could hear the birds, the peepers, the crickets and the bees. I could feel the wind on my cheeks and legs and forearms. I could bury my nose in my horse’s mane and smell his warmth and strength. That is life. That is living.
That I had that connection with nature made it possible to go through day to day life, working with people. I had my morals, values and ethics side-by-side with a graduate education to guide me through interactions with people. I understand others so much more than anyone has ever understood me. That doesn’t matter; it is my purpose to help in any way that I can.
But, people are still confusing. I learned the other day that it is wrong for me to close my door to rudeness from another. It is wrong because of an unwritten, unsaid rule that is based on status of the position held. It is, in essence, the continuation of slavery, of discrimination and a caste system that so many believe doesn’t exist.
Yes, it does exist. Everyone else is just beaten down enough that they accept it. It is a horror.
So now I come home to a cocoon of shuttered, blinded windows to block out this life among people. My country haven – and my horse – are miles away now, only to be visited as often as finances allow. Like a well-aimed brick, it hits me: I am, once again, on the outside looking in.
And, I am alone.