The Merry Maudlin Bohemian Years

For three weeks in January the clock in the living-room was stopped at 7:45. It went tick tock tick tock away, but the hands didn’t move. Sort of like me, metaphorically. I ignored it. Tick tock tick tock, BLAH BLAH BLAH with my fingers in my ears was I.

Ticking Clock

Even before I met Tim, well before, lets say forever, I have dreamed of a little cottage & garden all my own. Nothing grand – just a rustic little place with crooked walls perhaps and cracks here and there. With remnants of all the many memories scattered in every closet and drawer. With names scratched in the kitchen table and cherished photos of other last times.

As often as possible you would find me with sun-hat askew on my hands and knees weeding a veggie garden, perhaps. Maybe I’d be out front, shovel in hand, transplanting a Yew shrub to a better spot, or finally getting to dividing that giant Hosta.

Perhaps I’d be stromping through the undergrowth of a mature woods, hunting rare plants and mushrooms in the detritus that line the forest floor. Camera in hand I’d be, perhaps on my back trying to get just the right angle, or maybe hiding in the undergrowth trying to get a shot of that shy Pileated Woodpecker.

Every morning I’d go outside and wander the garden with my coffee, fill the bird feeders and generally do a morning inspection; of course snip this, pull that. Sometimes you would find me admiring that beautiful stamen in the morning light through the lens of my camera.

In 11 days I will leave that place for the final time.

Ask and you shall receive

Be careful though, beware finding that desired thing since all things do come to a natural end.

I have never been one to shy away from pain. I could never be the person who says they will never love again. What a shame that would be, and so very sad.

I’ll never be the one to walk away from a challenge, or turn my back on Love. Never. I will always be drawn where my heart takes me, come what may; like a moth to the moon’s light. Even with all that happened with Tim and I, I would not change one hair, not one moment of the last 4 years.

To have missed this journey? This winding road of 4 score years of laughter, love, bliss and of course grief and loneliness, has given me my soul back in my keeping.

Upside DownI recently came across a card I gave Tim the first year we were here.  I wrote:

Thank you for taking me away to your Lake Paula xoxo

It was almost exactly 4 years ago that Tim and I first came up to his Lake. By March 1st our life in the city was packed up, with Fred the Ficus, Gizmo my Cat and my stuff (well, some of it) and we blew that Popsicle stand.

Leaving this place will be to me like a death. I can’t help it, it will be hard to never come back. To walk out that door, and drive down that lane out the white pines that line the main drive into the lake. To for the final time turn away and head south back to Dodge and the Homestead – will be another goodbye.

Another passage through the arbour, out into the sunny meadow. I will be back at my root, the sanctuary of my home, so that I may have time to heal this new wound.

I will always think of these four years as my “Bohemian Years”. The years I followed my weird. The time I was able, for the first time, to be free.

I know from experience that what awaits me now is no more than what I choose to make it.

Yet I must acknowledge this ending. This final walk about this bohemian existence gives me the opportunity to draw what last bits of its essence I can. To find a way to bring this with me, somehow.

At the CampfireIt is not so unusual for us artist or creative types to desire these turns away from all the noisy pollution of the work-a-day till you die world “out there”. It was killing me softly, year after year, it was dripping out my life’s blood. By the time Tim found me I was a moldy kitchen plate, hidden away from myself amidst the Cat pee hell I had created.

I can not live that way. I want to live my life authentically every day…not just on those days when it’s convenient.

Just yesterday I sat and listened while a friend tormented himself with his desire for more. Oh, not alot, no, just some things. Just enough in order to help his friends out. Maybe through a surprise stock rise, or whichever get rich quick scheme takes the fancy.

Gizmo in Sunshine

As if the newer Mercedes or bigger bank account has ever trumped a happy heart. My advice to my friend “quit desiring things you don’t have and begin to appreciate the things you do”. Why is this such a difficult lesson to learn?

I know I have struggled with it, and I’m hardly materialist at all. Still though, that desire for “stuff” entices you in and somehow it feeds those endorphins and before you know it you have lots and lots of nice things, but you’re still miserable. Perhaps more so because now you have managed to secure yourself some debt, to go along with the “woe is me”.

All I can say is that I’m so glad I don’t know everything. So glad I don’t have a genie in a bottle to tell me my fortune. It would wreck the surprise, and I do love to be surprised, because life can sometimes be so predictable.Giant Bonfire

PaulaB

At the very least I’ve tasted the sweetness, the nectar, and I will never be able to erase it from memory. Like that last drift of incense as it burns to ash, I will carry this place with me on my cloths, my nostrils and my soul.

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6 thoughts on “The Merry Maudlin Bohemian Years

  1. Wonderful post. I turned my back on a “normal” life of consumption and servitude to debt many years ago. Everything I have can fit into 2 large suitcases. I’m grateful for everything that I have and I’ve never been happier.

    Will you never be able return to the lake after you leave this time or is it your decision?

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    • Thank you. I have to go. Its Tim’s family’s cottage, and his Dad’s selling it.

      I knew an artist friends from my days at BealArt who just had his backpack and art supplies in another sack and WALLA….last time I saw him was 15 yrs ago and he was biking to florida. Always thought that was cool…but as pared down as I am…it would not fit in two suitcases.

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  2. Beautiful post. So much you have learned and good advice to your friend, for it is wise to make your own grass as green as it can be rather than thinking about the grass of someone else.Enjoy your final few days at the lake and then as you said, come what may. 🙂

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