Tag Archives: solitude

SWPD- Summer-Winter Personality Disorder- coined by me based on me in Montreal

Mahabhrath Duryodhana Vs Bhimsena
Mahabhrath Duryodhana Vs Bhimsena Source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:%275%27_The_Mahabharata,_Duryodhana_versus_Bhimsena,_Sanskrit_Epic_India.jpg

When I first got to Montreal in august 2012, the hottest and most humid month (at least it felt so to me) of the whole year, I could not help asking the people we had found through airbnb why they spent all their time on the balcony. They wanted to enjoy the hot summer having spent the whole freezing winter sealed in their apartment. Then I realized that actually, every night, all balconies seemed irresistibly crowded and lively with people, wine, weed and laughter.

But I still could not wrap my mind around this balcony addicted life. I had after all come from a country where we have four seasons and the winters are cool enough. And yes, we enjoy summers out on the balconies but definitely not as much as these Montrealeans…

This year, I realized how this whole deal works out. A Quebecoise friend explained it was as if she had double personalities. In the winter, she became extremely solitaire and anti social, while as soon as spring induced a little warmth into the streets, she became a people’s person. This turned out to be such an accurate diagnosis for me as well. Throughout the winter, with a cold that goes down to -40 degrees, it becomes impossible to move the windows even a cm since they are shut frozen. All you want to do is watch movies or read or do any lonely activity you enjoy, rather than be forced to step out into the energy consuming freezing cold. On some days, a warm bed is so much more attractive than seeing people even on Friday nights…

When the snow melted, a personality change took me over. I am biking everywhere, finding everyone agreeable, adorable, loving and gentle. I am enjoying the courses I registered for and even finding the Quebecois French of the teachers somewhat cute. Drinking and socializing more but cleaning and cooking much less. Feeling less depressed and more hopeful… But also creating less time for this bloggy, which sort of helped me through the winter and in a way added some sense to the senseless job I attend every day.

So, although I am definitely going to enjoy the coming season to the fullest with gatherings in parks and festivals lighting up the city, one thing my summer personality should learn from my winter personality is to write more. That is what writing experts strongly advise, right? Time to heed some wise advice…

PS: I wonder how a conversation between my winter and summer personalities would go… Terribly quiet, I bet. While one would be too sleepy and pensive to talk, the other would be too hyper and a little tipsy to sit still for a meaningful conversation.

Advertisements

Sand, Sea and …

“Let’s go, come on! It’s just one weekend and we both need a break!”

He did not need to say much to convince me. It was April, winter was just over, the city was still cool, and the sombreness of the muddy days was still hovering over the streets.

I needed to get away from everything. From my job, the seriousness of all the files endlessly piling up and deadlines that had somehow managed to get hold of my life. I felt boring and flat like the city I lived in. So, I said: “Why not?”

Thus, off we drove to the warmer southern coast.

When I was a kid, my parents used to take me to tiny solitary beaches hidden between rocky entrances. In those remote pieces of saved land, I lay drying on a towel on the sand with the sun warming my back while water found its way down my skin. As the smell of the sun-dried towel dug its way into my memory, I listened to the humming of the earth under me. I listened to small creatures tunneling their way in the sand, building kingdoms, reigning the underworld. I followed tiny grains of sand all the way to the line where the water brushed over the flattened shore. I listened to the rustle of the waves. I listened to the power of water to give and take, as waves moved to and fro.

Watching the world from such a close angle at such a quiet spot made me also realize how inescapably lonely I was. My parents were there on the beach with me, but they were somewhere else, on another land. While I saw the sand grains or heard the force of the water, they were watching a different world from mine. Thus, I accepted a reticent existence to be shared with no other.

Until I met him.

He, too, was quiet like I. Bit by bit, with words unuttered, from shy sparkles in each other’s eyes, a slight touch, a breath let out in silence, we grew closer. Little by little, we allowed each other in. We allowed ourselves to be discovered by the other. In silent whispers, we spoke and we shared our existence.

We shared nights and days together; meals at the dinner table and chocolate in bed, wine from the bottle and tea under the blanket. We shared our thoughts and aspirations, our likes and dislikes, our passions and fears. We grew tomatoes and shopped for chairs. We grew on each other, internalized one another…

So, when he suggested a trip to the seaside, I knew my answer. We both needed to be away from the solid cement of the city to recalibrate our gentle harmony.

Thus, we boarded our car and drove southward towards sunnier days.

We found a nice quiet beach, just like the ones my parents used to take me. We soaked ourselves in the sea water, until all city gloom was cleansed from our bodies, and swung our weights on the cool soft waves till we felt as light as a feather.

When I lay on my towel, and watched the sand, this time, the grains took me to him, at the line of the water brushing the sand. This time, the sound of the earth and water, blended with his soft strokes on the water. This time, my world was not solitary. I had him to marvel at the grandiosity of the sea and the complicated beetle realm with me. I had another pair of eyes and ears to absorb the surroundings with me.

Lying on the towel, I watched him, enter the water, and peacefully, I closed my eyes.

When I woke up, I listened to his steps on the sand and followed with my ears his actions. I heard him behind me, drying with his towel. I turned around, smiling. I saw his towel, disarrayed on the sand. He was not there.

I looked at the open water, searched for his head bobbing over the surface. I examined the sea, not to miss him in between the waves, and reflections of dimming light. I watched carefully, to see him appear from a deep dive, or come back from a long swimming venture.

I waited to catch sight of him in the sea and over the land. I searched him in between waves and rocks. I looked for him until I could see nothing in utter darkness. Finally, I returned, once again, utterly solitary in existence.

In time, I came to accept, with quiet trepidation, that nature, whose power I deferred to, whose processes I admired and sought to find equilibrium in, had fumbled up the joy I had found in another. The waves offered me company in my loneliness, but took away the break I had taken from my isolated existence.

Sometimes, in between the streets, on my way to work, buying tomatoes at a store or on the window of a furniture store, I catch a glimpse of him. Momentarily, the loneliness is lifted until it sinks in again and I am reminded, nature gives and takes at its own will, and we can only watch and accept it.

Written in response to “Weekly Writing Challenge: Threes”

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/03/03/writing-challenge-threes/