Earlier this evening, while on another site, an anonymous person asked me a question that sparked far away memories. They had asked me what brought me peace. I told them I no longer knew what peace was, that it is something unobtainable to me now and forever. But I did tell them that long ago I would have some moments. Rare as they were between the troubles of growing up, the bullies at school, the bullies in my family, family dysfunction (my family could have been a daytime soap opera) the day to day worries of growing up in the inner city, trying to figure out my place in the world and why I felt so out of place, always being forced to conform, not being allowed to face the challenges I wanted to face, yadda yadda yadda. On occasion though, I could hold onto a fragment of peace for one small moment.
One of the things I mentioned was my fondness of reading. Closing myself off to the outside world and curling up onto my bed and become totally absorbed in a good book. Some days I would get so lost in a story that I would lose all track of time. Sometimes when I didn’t have fresh reading material and I have read the books on my shelves a few times too many, I would conjure stories of my own and write them down. I had some good ones too that would probably still be considered good to my adult brain. I loved a good story.
Another memory was my love of skygazing. Especially the sunrise and sunset and of the moon taversing the heavens. I told of the times my parents would take my sister and I fishing and how we would get up before the crack of dawn to do so. On the way to my parent’s favorite fishing spot, I would stare out the truck window and watch the sun come up like a giant red fireball. Sunrises and sunsets were always my favorite times to watch the sky and had always felt so calming watching the sky change colors as the orangey glow of the sun would be rising or falling at the horizon. Give me twilight anytime. Then there were the weekends I would spend with my grandparents in the suburbs. I would often stay awake through the wee hours and watch the sun rise above the neighborhood from the large picture window. At night I would go out into the large backyard and watch the sky and dream fantastic dreams. My grandparents worked nights and didn’t get home until after 3 or 4 am so had nobody to yell at me to get into the house. Looking through binoculars at the moon was especially enchanting, and the eclipses were wonderful treats. I felt at ease and my most inspired by the moonlight.
My drawing was another escape. Give me a sketch pad and some pencils and crayons and I would disappear for hours. Not that anyone would notice. And no, I was not intentionally antisocial, it was just forced upon me. I was always best at abstract drawing, still have some of my old artwork.
Reading, skygazing, and drawing kept my mind occupied and sharp. I guess those brought me fragments of peace, a luxury I shall never have again in my lifetime.