It’s a Wednesday night and I’m sitting quietly at my dining room table, listening to the neighbor kids play football in the quickly waning sunlight (damn daylight savings time, it’s 6pm for god’s sake!). It’s lovely and I can feel tensions melting off me as I type.
I’m solitary by nature, I like the quiet and I like to have time with my thoughts, books, drawings… and up until recently I had very little community outside my children and immediate family … then I started playing Dungeons & Dragons and joined a divorce support group and suddenly I have all these plans and people in my life and it’s rich and wonderful and NEW.
Oftentimes when people divorce they lose their communities – mutual friends become uncomfortable and feel they have to ‘choose sides’ which is awful for everyone or (as in my case) all of the community ‘belongs’ to one spouse over the other. All of my community was really my ex-husband’s friends. I had moved to this city just before my first daughter was born so knew virtually no one and hadn’t really built friendships when the kids were younger…. so I married into a community and it was lovely and then he left and it was gone. Oh, I probably could have teased a few friendships out of the mix, but it would have been awkward and painful for everyone involved and frankly I needed distance from him to heal.
On Halloween I had people over to my new home.
The first time I have hosted anyone but family in my residence in years –
The first time I have hosted friends that were just MINE in my home in decades….
It was terrifying and vulnerable and wonderful and I was so grateful that they came and worked to make me feel welcome as a host just as I worked to make them feel welcome in my home.
A few weeks ago I was headed over to play Dungeons & Dragons and as my daughter and I were getting out of the car I struggled to carry all of the various snacks, beverages and supplies I’d brought with me. I looked over to see someone else had arrived, also over-burdened with items. We made eye contact in the sunshine and smiled – both honored to have been invited to the ‘feast’ and both aware of the honor we were showing our host with our attendance.
Feasting with community is always a celebration and a vulnerability and a gift both given and received. It is exhausting and exhilarating and now is just as important to me as my solitude. I need them both – I want them both.
Artwork is available here: https://www.etsy.com/listing/643312638