birds in a barrel's mission is to release creative nonfiction into the wild.

40 Days & 40 Writes is its first project.

I Live Alone, but I Am Not Lonely

I had a housemate during college. He later became my husband for more than 20 years and I experienced the vagaries of sharing space--physically and emotionally. We had children. I was committed to belonging, to family. Though as the years passed I came to understand that I could feel more alone living with a person who was no longer emotionally available, than I could feel while being by myself.

Post-divorce I have realized that there are many options for sharing space.

My children have lived with me on and off for a month or several months at a time. One of my friends lives in a Golden-Girls type situation, sharing her large home with her best friend, who was recently separated from her husband.

I currently share space with my two cats, and I appreciate their independence. We live and let live.
I think occasionally about owning a dog, but realize that they would require more attention than I have to offer another living being.

For a time shortly after my divorce but before I took a lover, I longed to have a "sweet, sweet old someone" when I heard Garrison Keillor sing the opening lyrics to a Prairie Home Companion.

Recently my daughter asked me what characteristics I would look for in a boyfriend, and that has me thinking. As an introvert, I need my space. I need a lot of alone time. Is there a man in this world who would understand that?

At some point in my elderhood, I imagine I will need a house mate of a sort--a house keeper, maybe, or a live-in caregiver. That will require an adjustment on my part, another step in the letting go that is the only constant in this life.

Faux Pas

Epistolary Dream