the lion in the dark



i’ve never lived alone. there was a time, not too long ago, when i thought i’d missed my chance. what happened was there was a baton passing; one of various room-mates taking turns living with me. from the Pasadena bedroom I grew up in to inhabiting homes in transcontinental locations with my husband, i always shared a living space.

i’m not complaining.

you see, i’m kindof a scerdy cat.

creaking floors, really dark hallways, movies about the paranormal, quickly scampering critters, children who stare and don’t smile, the deep, deep ocean, being alone in a house…these things frighten me.

i remember being 7 and having to turn off the light in the hall on the way back to the living room where my parents were watching TV. there was always a lead up to the moment of flipping that switch down, a readiness to scoot my butt so as to get to illumination all the faster. the heart accelerated a bit and for a second, maybe two, my imagination got the better of me.

no dejes que te coma el leon.

my mom would make light of this dreaded ritual. if i saw myself jetting out a room in the house and coming to a complete stop, i think it’d be funny too.

certainly, it was never a large mammal that i’d envision coming after me in the darkness. normally, it was something really ugly; nondescript. and while i don’t psych myself up to turn off lights like that anymore (well, maybe a little bit), i am currently confronted with something i may have been avoiding.

being alone.

craig’s away in india for some weeks. i’m in our new place for a bit on my own. i think when i fantasized about living alone it was more in a modern apartment in the middle of a bustling city where a night with friends was but a phone call away.

it’s a little different than that. i’m in a country home off a dirt path where i’ve spotted a furried and frightened (Buddy was growling at it) rodent in the kitchen. my nearest neighbors are a couple that scream horrific obscenities at each other in the middle of a drunken afternoon. and when there are not speakers blaring really bad (i mean, the worst) karaoke, it can be intensely quiet. it is then that may be the scariest.

i guess it’s the being alone with my thoughts. or, maybe it’s realizing how i always need to fill the space with this and that. what would happen if i listened to the silence or really looked at the darkness? what would i find there?answers or more questions? would i like who i see inside?

i’ve been known to throw myself off balance. i don’t easily sit for hours (ok, let’s be honest-minutes) on  a meditation cushion. yet, certainly, clearly, i need to ground myself in some way. not doing so, is making that lion much more powerful.

  1. I appreciate your insights about the connection between not being grounded and making the lion of fear more powerful. I know for myself when I only cultivate my comfort zone it makes me less well equipped and skillful when dealing with things outside of that self-consrtucted bubble. With mindfulness and deep looking into our habits and experiences we begin to truly wake up to who we are. Breathe well my friend.

  2. yet, certainly, clearly, i need to ground myself in some way – I know that feeling! Great post!

  3. Thank you for your thoughtful sharing here. I agree, hard to step outside that bubble. It’s always practice for me. best to you.

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