23:07 But just now, there were sheep baa-ing in our yard. I’d been reading Liz Gilbert’s “City of Girls” (all the way to page 17 in one sitting! This is literally — ha! — a miracle, in my reading-ADD world), and then Monsieur put down his Kindle (Neal Stephenson, I believe) and I closed City of Girls (my head was lolling anyway, much as I was beginning to truly enjoy the story) and turned off the light. We said goodnight and he leaned over sweetly to give me a soft kiss in the darkness.
But then came the loud “baaaa.” And then another and another…
I went across the ewok bridge outside the door, down the first flight of wooden stairs, opened the atrium window wide, yes, there they were, sure enough, gathered by the inflatable-ring pool.
“Go home!” I whispered hoarsely into the night air, but the white sheep only turned a little toward me, and “baaaed” again.
I went down the second flight of stairs, put on the first pair of shoes I found, Monsieur’s size 46 trashed runners which he adores. Then I flump-flumped down to the pool.
“It’s time to go home, guys,” I said quite loudly and firmly.
They thumpeted quickly down to the bottom of the yard. The barbed-wire fence zinged as they pinged through it one after the other. But then they stood there on the other side, waiting for me to go back to bed. So that they could come back in and party around the pool. (I believe I now understand why the pool keeps losing its shape…)
“No guys, keep going,” I said.
They live (or are supposed to live) one more field over. But they didn’t budge. Just stayed staring at me through the fence.
I found the place where they’d lined the barbed wires with their wool, I lifted the bottom wire with one hand and shimmied under. Cursed my footwear choice as I did a very strange wide-legged-and-armed gumby dance trying to wave them onwards.
What I really needed was to be able to stride quickly toward them, which would easily herd them back to their second entry point at the far corner of the neighbouring field; but the shoes! They were so flumpety. Why do I always take the easy way? It’s the hardest in the end.
“Hya! Keep going guys and gals. Onward ho!” I awkwardly threw one leg after the other, pointing my toes ever upward with each stride to keep the shoes on my feet. The ground was uneven and rough which made the striding all the more challenging. At last! The vague white wooly sheep-shapes were thumpeting away toward the corner of the blue-black field.
I paused before heading back, to admire the light show in the sky. In the east, behind hot grey clouds, were flashes of yellowy-orange light. Such a sight.
And then I heard it…
It was the sound of laughter. To me that was the sound of love… male voices, loud and cheerful and jovial, and female as well.
Oh how my heart ached! It was all my neighbours a few hundred metres away, whom I could not see but could hear clearly from this lower point below our property.
Crazy friend and my most beloved French friends…
Yet another party they did not invite me to. I used to be there, one with them… I used to bathe in that illusion of love. Could it only have been illusion?
I suppose it must have been. If not, I’d likely be there now, drinking diet Coke or Bonne Nouvelle, while they drank wine and anise.
I was very sad.
I tried to be happy for them.
I wondered if sobriety was worth it.
I’d loved them so much! Why could they not still love me back? (I seriously am just as much fun. Just a little less loud and slurry. And I won’t stay as late.)
But I knew why and I understood why. Sort of.
And now that I write about it, I just think of those shoes… the easy, quickest choice of footwear was not the best fit for me in the end. And they’d made me very ungainly indeed…
The sheep are back in their own field, now, near our neighbours’ place. I can go to bed.
And I am grateful for my soft bed, for my family, for the quiet of the night around our attic bedrooms. I am so fortunate to have all this. And in remaining sober/aware, no matter how lonely it sometimes seems, I am better able to appreciate it, and better able to make use of my good fortune.
Rumi, what say you?
“The sweetness and delights of the resting-place are in proportion to the pain endured on the Journey. Only when you suffer the pangs and tribulations of exile, will you truly enjoy your homecoming.” — Rumi
off I go. to bed, and to the party of the soul
00:22. This day, I will remain sober and aware.
sobrietytree.home.blog/sobrietytree.com – day/night 101
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