Thursday, February 18, 2010

A View From The Attic

We build our nest on the tree called "future," eagles will bring meals in their beaks to us solitary ones.

Friedrich Nietzsche
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What is it to be a solitary one? On the simplest terms it means to travel alone on the road, to embark by oneself into the experiences of life, to be an ambassador-at-large in strange and foreign lands.

I have no comfortable chair in my apartment. I used to have one. But when I was moving from the second floor to the third floor years ago, someone stole it. So without it I don't sit back, relax and dwell in my memories. I have very little time for that. Most of them aren't so good anyway and I choose not to think about them. I have no children around me to take care of my old age. I have no grandchildren on my lap. I have no dog giving me unconditional love. I have no cat to observe my foolish human ways. No one is here demanding food and love, in that order.

But there is a broader, better aspect to the solitary life. And that is about the future. The future is what I choose to think about. Solitary senior citizenship doesn't depress me. I look forward every day to the arrival of the eagles. I can see how much the future affects the past.

I don't like wearing clothes. I feel slightly claustrophobic when I'm dressed. That I don't have to be dressed is another benefit of the solitary life. Pure ideas in their natural state are in the beaks of the eagles. Opinions are ideas dressed up in some fancy, fashionable outfits. The eagles, past and present, strip away the opinions and give me the bare ideas.

My grandmother, when in her 80's, would habitually watch the TV news everyday. She wanted to know what was going on in the world she could no longer participate in or hove any influence over. I understand her. When you have lived many decades you have a greater perspective about things. That perspective gives you the ability to better predict what is going to happen and to understand what is happening as you watch it unfold. In some ways it is a reaffirmation of your own wisdom. I think my grandmother was content watching history being made and I respect her for that.

But that doesn't content me. Somewhere along the journey, when I first started contemplating building my mental nest, I knew that although I was interested in the what of things, I was more interested in knowing the why. To my friends I appeared, and still do, I guess, obsessive, idiosyncratic and paradoxical.

It all began with art, specifically music. How could those sounds create such feelings and impressions in me? What was in the harmony, counterpoint and rhythm, the melodies and tonal structures that produced such results? So I started on a life long study of music. That was followed by theatre and a life as an actor, then relooking at the great paintings of the world. Not as a casual or obligatory observer, but from my aery nest in the tree top.

When my first marriage crumbled I lived alone and slept in the basement of my house until I could figure things out. Now I live alone in the attic. I'm still figuring, but the view is nicer.

DB - The Vagabond
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I'm getting a lot of interesting mangled cliches so I'm leaving the quiz up for another day.

"A stitch in time is worth two in the bush."

Your assignment is to take two or more grand old sayings, cliches, sage saws or famous quotes and cobble (clobber) them together to make a new and wiser adage or utter nonsense, as in the above.

Enter as often as you wish. The decision of the ornery, biased judge is final. Actually if this keeps up I may need some help judging. Any volunteers?

Good luck.
DB
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3 comments:

Big Mark 243 said...

I don't know what to say, D.B. Not that I don't have anything to say.

It seems enviable to me, to live a life in solitude with no other being to create a warp in your gravity as their own life force acts upon yours.

My lonliest moments has occured in the company of others. When I am alone and can observe all of what my mind can contain and digest, I feel content.

Right now, I am 'with' someone. But we aren't really 'together'. I don't quite know how I got here, since it wasn't my intended destination. Won't personalize my comment too much, but you need to get a hold of a comfortable chair. Maybe being engaged in finding one you can afford will become a new journey for you. I am counting on the sense of personal accomplishment being a feeling that never loses its charm, and I think that you'd get a great deal from making something like that happen.

To my friends I appeared, and still do, I guess, obsessive, idiosyncratic and paradoxical.

The above are words of yours. I don't think that we are all alone in being those things, which is the paradox of being unique along with some six or seven billion other souls. Be well. Stay thirsty, my friend!

Arlene (AJ) said...

DB, a very intersting read as always dear. Life is what each of us make it, I personally believe that attitude makes a big difference in how we get get through each day and prefer for myself to always keep a positive attitude...I find that doing so I can get through any day. It works for me and that's what is important.

Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

I think Mark makes a good point, about trying to find a comfy chair (Craigs List or Freecycle).

I also agree that a positive attitude is a key to being happy, whether alone or with others.