I spent the better part of three months “arranging” my dining room. It felt very grown up. And uncomfortable…the idea of making a place to eat–and I made it beautifully, by the way–by oneself. Dinner is such a loaded communal activity. It’s the label we give to eating in the evening with others…probably discussing something…or maybe sitting in awkward silence…or maybe making a new connection…or maybe watching an old connection evaporate. Dinner can be a chore, it can be an escape, it can be a headache. There might be food thrown–or more interestingly, drinks.
And yet, here was my dining room: brand new, beautiful, untouched, sitting in waiting as though hoping for something communal. It sat for weeks like an invitation to plan; the space holding the promise of future musings…hopefully on a variety of fascinating topics. Maybe even drinks would be thrown…that would be exciting.
And then…everything turned a little upside down. And the dining room was there…waiting to be used….but I had no one to use it with…but that didn’t seem to matter. The time was ripe for a dining room–that place where something happens…where the promise of future musings play out, albeit differently than perhaps thought.
And so, for the first time in perhaps almost 10 years…alright, ever…I sat down in my own dining room, dressed from work, and ate a meal and drank some wine and did not watch tv and did not listen to music and did not talk to anyone and I just ate. And I just thought. And I discovered the perspective of this apartment, and my place here, in a way I had never seen before. I sat down in my new, wonderful, chocolate-brown leather chair, and got comfortable…and discovered a place for which I’ve been searching for awhile now. An interesting place that does not require distraction and that is mine and that is claimable by me. And I thought: about sadness, about change, about tenuousness and fragility. I thought about past greatness and lingered on the excitement of dreams to come. I thought about friends gone and I thought about friends still hanging on and I wondered what tomorrow holds, since every tomorrow is so different from the last. I thought about reading and conversations about reading and analyses of reading and writing future reading. And I thought about strength. And chocolate.
And I wasn’t tired. And I wasn’t scared. I enjoyed my own company and realized I had forgotten, or maybe never know, just how great company I can be. Even if silently. Even if from within. Even if no one was there to hear.
And it was peace.