When my son was about three years old, he leaned toward me from the seat of the grocery cart and said, Mommy, you tell me not to talk to strangers, and you do it all the time. He studied me with his serious eyes until I responded that there were different rules for grown-ups. I don’t know if he believed me.
I talk to people wherever I go. I suspect this tendency springs from a perverse desire to fight my essential introversion. The search for different factions of my tribe compels me.
Last weekend, I met a woman at Pigeon Point who had come for a weekend respite, to write and walk on the bluffs above the sea. Today she and her wife traveled from San Francisco to share coffee and watch the sunset on the ocean off the point at Montara. An easy comfort settled on our conversation. Odd that I originally had intended my hostel stays in the reverse order of how they have happened. I would not have met Joyce and Jane in that event, and two dear souls would continue moving outside my orbit.
Now I sit at the same table as I occupied last evening, near the little chalk board exhorting me to talk to others rather than hammering on my keyboard. Another woman writes in a chair beside me. From time to time, we exchange observations, remarks about the work each of us pursues, or some other idle talk which gives us the companionship that the hostel gods seemingly want us to enjoy. Neither of us needs more. A cup of cool water, a shared power plug, and the knowledge that someone else understands the drive to pour one’s thoughts upon the page.
It’s evening, on the second day, of the seventieth month, of what has become My [everlasting] Year Without Complaining. Another perfect day in paradise draws to a peaceful close. Life continues.