Did you know that at 3 a.m. on a night as cold as this one is you can turn on your radio and bring in hundreds of tiny stations that merge, mingle and blurr one another? If there were a radio tower on the moon I could have brought it in tonight. There is an emptiness out there that is unnerving. Anything can happen. I cannot maintain an internet connection for more than a minute. It is as if it sucks everything into itself like a vaccuum.
I have been up every two hours all night feeding the fire to keep the downstairs warm, the upstairs comfortably cool ... and so that I can maintain my sense of comfort around my hearth; so that I can push back that vast alienating emptiness.
At 4:30 we got up for good and had breakfast. I ate mine sitting in the big rocker by the fire, reading Through Black Spruce. Coincidentally, one of the narrators was alone in the low Arctic bush in the middle of the night listening to a nearby wolf pack that made him afraid. He was not afraid of the wolves but of the loneliness that threatened to engulf him, and what undid him was the fact that the wolves had a pack whereas he was utterly alone.
I seldom feel as naked as I felt tonight. It is not fear of living here alone, not a fear of being in danger. Rather it was the reminder that there is that vast emptiness out there. A void that can suck in a myriad of strangers' voices and spit them out at me; a limitless nothingness that could swallow me whole.
I seldom feel that disconnected, likely because I live in a country that values community and kinship even though I choose to live on its outskirts. But tonight I felt the bleakness.
I think we all seek to allay isolation in one way or another ... with friends ... by making love ... having babies ... adopting pets.
Kenya and I will return to the comfort of the fire where the loneliness can remain outside our circle of light. I will try to post this later when the internet connection will allow it.