Oh – hello! Wow, it sure is bright out here in the blogosphere. How long does it take for your eyes to adjust to all this anyway? I mean, it’s so colourful and bright and vibrant and, and colourful! And just look at all of you out there, so many of you. Some of you are pretty new to this type of conversation (Hi Michelle!) and some of you have been doing this a long time. I know because I’ve been reading your blogs for quite a while – thank you by the way, for letting me eavesdrop; you’re so expressive and creative and insightful and . . . .
Okay, now I’m feeling just a little bit intimidated. Maybe I should just quit while I’m ahead and go back to the cave?
Well yes, it is dark in there. It’s damp and even slimy in some places, but I know where that stuff tends to lurk and I don’t spend much time in those corners anyway. The colour isn’t bad, if you don’t mind everything looking like it may be a week or so past its freshness date. Oh, and there isn’t a lot of room to stretch. After a while, you get used to the permanent ache across the middle of your back and the bump on your head that just never seems to go away. There certainly isn’t much room to grow, but . . . .
The cave isn’t perfect, but it does have a lot of upside. The boundaries are very clearly defined, so I know what’s expected. I’ve become very efficient at fitting as much into every corner as I possibly can, making the most of the space I have available. I’ve lived here in the cave for a long time, so I know it intimately; nothing takes me by surprise. Contrary to what you may have heard about some caves, mine is very stable. It was formed out of a strong, rugged New England independent mindset coupled with an intensely English sense of order. Throw in a blue-collar work ethic (from both sides) and a sprinkling of military discipline learned in childhood (courtesy of the US Air Force) and my cave is as solid and reliable as they come. It’s small, to be sure, but I like the idea of being cocooned. I feel safe, protected, sheltered.
It’s lonely in the cave.
There’s no one to talk to, no one to say “Is it just me?” and no one to answer “Nope, I’m right there with you.” I read a lot and I listen to a lot of music and I write a lot, but there’s no one to share it with, not in the way that matters. Visitors, as infrequent as they are, tend to be excessively polite to the point of being annoying. When I cry (again) during the second movement of the Concierto de Aranjuez, I only hear my own sobs echoing. Am I the only person who thinks that second movement is among the most heartbreakingly beautiful pieces of music ever written? I hope not, but I’ve been in the cave all this time and it isn’t connected to anything else, so I don’t know for sure.
I’ll bet some of you have been in the cave too, haven’t you? Do you remember what it was like when you first wondered if there was anything beyond the cave walls? Do you remember that day when your heart just told you in the most emphatic way possible that you were not created to hide in a cave, hoarding your secrets and your gifts and your self like Gollum beneath the Misty Mountains? What was it like when you just had to find out if you were the only person who saw the world the way you did? And it didn’t even matter if you were the only person with that perspective. Being authentic had become more important than being safe and the only way to be truthful was to leave the cave.
I don’t quite know what I’m doing, to be honest. I feel like I did on the first day of a new school when I was a little girl. Will I fit in here? Will I make friends? How much do I have to catch up on? Will the homework be too hard? Where do they stand on the Adidas versus Nike issue? What’s that really cute boy’s name and will he ask to hold my hand some day?
My name is Carryl and I’m new here. I know I’ll make mistakes. Probably a lot of them. I’ll be awkward and random at times, but I hope you’ll be patient with me. Don’t write me off as a total dork just yet.
Now, does anyone have a pair of sunglasses I can borrow for a while? How about some sunscreen and a floppy hat?