All of My New Best Quiet Places
Zo and Dad soaking up some fountain sounds
With Zo, I've found a greater need to re-charge when the re-charging is available, even to stimulate it or drum it up on occasion. It's not that she's overly demanding, although she is indeed demanding, it's just that I'm not sure I've paid as much attention to anything in my life, and that'll wear a guy out. The odd relationship between fatigue and all that attention is that you want to devote all that time and energy to her. That makes tired a nice kind of tired, a healthy feeling tired. All the same, it's still tired.
I've found some things that recharge me more than others, as you naturally do, but some are odd compared to the way in which we always lived our lives previously...
I enjoy the quiet, which is kind of a given, but I enjoy it when it happens in darkness. Weird, huh? Like the other day I wandered into the bathroom and turned to close the door before I flipped the light. The instant soltitude caught me off guard and I took a moment to drink it in. I even closed my eyes, as if I needed any more darkness, and leaned on the sink to steady myself as I smiled. Yeah, it was that giant of a smile that it needed bracing.
I like to breathe, we all do, it's kind of important, but now I find myself desperate for giant gulps of air on occasion, typically fresh but not always. Sometimes just a big gasp of the air around me is enough to energize me for the next round of doling out love and affection to the two girls that I live with. Sighs never felt as good either, but breathing has taken on a whole new meditational role.
I get a new, almost giddy feeling now when I turn a corner and see open road emptying out before me...no cars to impede my progress, no distractions to steer my mind away from whatever might be playing on the radio, or whatever I'm pondering. No attention demanded from anything in my peripheral. It feels like I've brushed away the branches in the path and stepped out in the bright sunlight of an open meadow...wait, that sounded pretty lame. How 'bout a great lawn...nope, sounds just as stupid unless we're talkin' Central Park, then it sounds pretty incredible...You know what I'm talking about...dew soaked grass, sunshine streaming down from blue skies with the darkness of the trees behind you...it feels like that. Again, that sounds pretty weird. I dunno...
The sound of running water can slow the rate of my spinning head to a snail's pace. The sound of waves or of the lapping water outside of my windows, eases a burden better than any booze can, but lately it's been any water, anywhere...fountains especially. I think my fondness for the sound of water increased tenfold when Zoey was small and the sound of running water was sometimes the only thing that would soothe her. I too got trapped in the meditative quality of it and ever since then I can't pass a fountain without sitting to enjoy it for awhile. Even running bath water sounds good to me on occasion.
The kindness of others strikes me down with a contentedness that I'd never fully enjoyed before. Sure, people were nice to me on at least a semi-regular basis before, but I'm sure I missed most of their gestures...too caught up in some self-serving endeavor, busy busy busy, but not the kind of busy that is worth anything, not really. Now I hold tight to the kindness and stuff it down deep into my pockets. I keep tham all safe and recall them often. They mean a lot more to me now than they ever did before.
I especially enjoy those moments when you finally lay down to sleep, when you pull cool sheets over your tired body and as your head finds the pillow and your mind finds something to smile about. Before you know it you're waking up in the darkness of the early morning, and there's June, all warm and contented. She found her way here beside me sometime after I fell, and then there's the sound of the cat tramping across the floor because he heard someone rustling in the dark. In that moonlit place I can hear Zoey snoring, and feel the deep breathing of June on my shoulder, and I'm a pretty happy guy. I feel pretty re-charged.
The things that soothe me are a lot different than what they used to be...in fact, I don't even remember what they used to be. I still enjoy stepping from an airplane and smelling a different world, and I couldn't tell you that the sailboat pond in Central Park doesn't ease my head and heart just a little. Crissy Field is still one of my most favorite places in all the world, and I'll sit in the sand near the pier in San Clemente with a smile on my face that probably looks as ridiculous as it feels, but right here and now a snoring Zed is one helluva rival for all that affection. Now, when I get the chance to re-charge I want it to be in a place smack dab in the middle of all this madness. I don't want an escape necessarily, or a release. I just want a quiet place to be full to the brim with peace and love...no dope or patchouli stink in the equation...just enough stillness to really feel the perfect weight of all this, but you know...if you're going to Central Park anyway, I'll come.