On Sunday morning I did the unthinkable. I slept in. Nearing 7:30 Joe came in and asked if I was going to church. I glanced up at him through bleary eyes and told him that I wasn't up to rushing to get ready. Joe simply nodded and quietly closed the door. About 45 minutes later I padded into the front room where Joe was dressed and just finishing breakfast. A few minutes later he headed out to church.
I sat here at my desk and felt the quiet surround me. In the fresh morning sunlight I could see the occasional sparkle of ice crystalize in midair. Then I realized. I was alone. Really, completely, utterly alone.
And it felt ... delicious.
Since my disability, I am almost never alone. Joe and I are together here or I am at work there. I'm always within view of another person. I'm always just a holler away. But now I was alone. I made up a list of alone things to do.
I got the book I'm reading 'The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society' from the bedside table and sat on the couch and read quietly for approaching an hour. I closed the book, I was getting to close to the end and I wanted to be reading it for a few more days yet.
On the computer I logged on to my favourite mult-player wordgame and played that for a couple of rounds and then logged off. Five or ten minutes later I was done with the computer and mentally ticked that off my alone-list.
Now the big thing. I sat in the quiet and thought. At first it was hard because my thoughts became muddled with white noise and wonderings. I was out of practice at this so I really focussed and then ... I thought, deeply, for awhile. So many seek wisdom from without not pausing to seek wisdom from within. I went searching and was not disappointed, I went in search of self and found him there waiting, we had a long needed chat.
A glance at the clock told me that my time alone was almost up. I was grateful for it and grateful that it would end when a key entered the lock.
Disability and the need for assistance can rob one of moments of aloneness wherein life is uncluttered with the sounds of others. It can deprive one of the opportuntity to just be separate. I wonder when I see those with disabilities at my office, often with a staff in tow, if they ever have time on their own, if they would know what to do with that time.
A few minutes after being at home, after gossiping about church and the people he'd seen there, Joe looked at me and said, 'You seem, different.'
And I was.
Because I had had a moment, alone.