#NewThisDay Writing From My Photo Stream
It must have been a sweet breeze in the sunshine and the scents it stirred, goldenrod and leaf mold, an October time of woods and weeds rising in the air and into my spirit. Because, as I stooped to take a picture on my walk in the woods this morning, I suddenly remembered a time and place: where I was more than thirty Octobers ago. Living alone, for the first time in my life, a time of liberation and loneliness. After graduate school, moving to a small town on a big lake in New Hampshire, into a one-bedroom cabin a half a mile from the job I had taken at Spofford Hall - a sprawling residential treatment center for addiction, planted on the side of Spofford Lake. I worked as a therapist on the Adolescent Unit, and I loved listening to the rowdy, lost teenagers in trouble, trying to help. But when I wasn't working I was mostly alone, as I had yet to make this rural, cabin in the woods my home. As I lay in bed at night there was no one else's noise, comforting or irritating, no human presence to attend to or be distracted by. There was the sound of my own breath, and rustlings of small animals in pine needles and insects beating their dying wings against screens. I wanted to last there, to prove something - something about how solitude should be fruitful in some inexplicable way. But I was not making art from life then, I did not yet know how. Loneliness for the sake of loneliness? Why? My better instincts finally roused me. I found an apartment in a complex to share in Keene, a few miles away. I wasn't particularly friendly with my apartment mate - she was having some kind of emotional or spiritual breakdown. But her little yellow post-it notes pencilled with bible quotes she randomly stuck to our walls, doors, furniture, were a kind of noisy distraction from my loneliness. In my bedroom, on my high double bed by the window where I looked out at the parking lot full of cars, I began writing in my journal again. Every day, whatever I had to say, I let it come out by showing up. I committed - and it was easier, somehow, because it wasn't too quiet, I didn't feel isolated. I listened to my breath and began writing words, any words that wanted to come.
All photos and text copyright Kelly DuMar 2017 unless otherwise attributed