The occasion was the gathering of a group of people who had shared time together in a decade long past. Some of them had kept the thread of connection intact through the years and their sense of friendship and community was obvious even to a casual observer. There were stories of shared adventures as well as shared memories and I was the observer to their recollections just as I had been the observer of the events themselves. I had been on the periphery rather than an active participant so the stories were much like an old newsreel, displayed in black and white and as choppy as a windblown surf. I long for the panoramic colors of intimacy that I deny myself.
What the image in the mirror reminded me is that I have always lived my life apart from others. Even though I have had a desire for close relationships, only once in all these years have I been able to break through the self-imposed barriers that kept me on the other side of the the experience of living. I’ve worn what I think of as my life cloth in presenting myself to the world, the life cloth that protects me and keeps me in my solitary place.
And so, as we sat having our dinner at Dimitri’s, I observed, as I always do, and was envious of their ease and familiarity. I wondered, somewhat absently , if I would ever again open the cloak of life cloth I wore or if having had the experience once would have to be sufficient to fill the part of me that was devoid of connection, standing alone like an aging tree on the mesa