It’s Saturday morning and I wake up without an alarm clock. I can see the sharp rays of morning sun darting through the edges of my bedroom windows. I know from their angles that it’s around 9am and the day ahead feels infinite. I’m still young enough to feel infinite sometimes.
I throw on a shirt two sizes too big and head downstairs. The house is quiet and still until the magic of Bluetooth fills every room with the tenderness and grit of the music I love these days – Leon Bridges, Alabama Shakes, The Suffers, throwbacks to mid-century soul. I’m only interested in songs that are at least laced with sorrow. They’re the only ones that feel real.
I make myself a strong cup of coffee. I do this every morning, but I swear it tastes different on the weekends. I’ve learned to drink it black, but I still pour in a splash of milk for the chance to watch the way the white dances and swirls its way through the brown. This has always tugged at my heart strings in a peculiar way, and I’m not sure why. I resist the temptation to make it an allegory for my life. It’s mysterious and perfect just as it is.
I settle into a barstool by the biggest window in my kitchen so I can see the rolling green of the hills in the distance. They’ve finally been showered with rain and they’re vast and beautiful in a way that humbles me, much like the ocean. I take a few long sips from my cup and in a caffeine-induced state of euphoria, I grab a pen or a paintbrush or less poetically and more often, my laptop, and I try to create something out of nothing. Sometimes I do, more often I don’t. That’s how art goes.
I use to think I didn’t like being alone. I felt like I’d been alone my whole life, and I constantly wondered if that would ever change. For the first time in thirty years, I feel like maybe it will. But it occurs to me now that I will miss this solitude. It has taught me how to bring my experiences to life. After spending the better part of the last 10 years trying to learn how to heal others, only my solitude has taught me how to heal myself.
On Saturday mornings like this, I’m alone, but I’m not really alone – every muse I’ve ever had is in the room with me – love, loss, longing, otherness, death. This is their chance to be given vivid new color, to be resurrected in writing, or perhaps to be buried on the page. On Saturday mornings, I’ve learned to be alone and alive. On Saturday mornings, everything becomes infinite.