Monday, August 06, 2007

The Private Butterfly

The blasting sound of two parties battle on, like a bad DJ out of control. The night air is crisp and cool on my skin. My hair desperately needs to be washed. I run my fingers through my dirty tresses and bring out handfuls of long strands.

The passing train adds to the mix a comforting reverberation. It is similar to the drifting banjo that came from across the bay three nights ago. I prefer those twangs than the loud, beating bass and constant shouting of drunken excitement from around the blazing fire.

I have been coming to this spot in the world for fourteen years. It is a place that is not my own. The sun stretches across the lake and the wind blows in from the west. It is my husband’s family cottage. The old, yellow cabin is the most worn out building among the new expanding lakefront properties.

Years ago it was my boyfriend that invited streams of friends to congregate each long weekend. We turned the yard into a campground with everyone bringing tents, boats and drinks aplenty. Now that we have turned into an old married couple and spawned, we traded our tent for a pop-up trailer. It is his youngest brother's turn to offer up the northern getaway to every city friend. Most of the girls are a decade younger than me. They parade around in bikinis.

The beer that I brought remains in the cooler. The gin and tonics are not poured. I have no desire to join in on the merriment. I hide in our new tent trailer or take my daughters on walks to collect rocks. Tonight by flickering candlelight I sit and write on my laptop. I contemplate if it is my lack of self-confidence that makes me crawl into my shell. I have always considered myself to be an extrovert but I am now reflecting that even in my youth, the act of being a social butterfly never came easy. When my own friends surrounded me, I would still often opt out.

At the moment, with the generation difference, I find myself fighting off feelings of disgust in the ceaseless carousing. I long for some quiet time with my family. I want bask in the beauty of nature. I don’t want to feel self-conscious or out of place. I need to unearth a slice of Zen. It surrounds me however it is miles away.

16 Singing the blues:

metro mama said...

After the frenetic pace in Chicago it was a relief to park in front of the lake with my laptop this weekend. I know how you feel.

Would love to join you at your happy place one day!

crazymumma said...

I hope you found that slice.

I feel I neeed something along those lines myself.

petite gourmand said...

can't say I blame you...who really needs to look at a bunch of young chickies in bikinis?

I hope you at least enjoy the precious time with your girls on those nice long walks.

motherbumper said...

I hide in my shell more often than not. Even though most would consider me in the extrovert camp, I'm not. I want to curl up with the family and shut everything else out all - the - time.

I guess that's why we get along so well ;)

Alley Cat said...

Yeah, a cottage week-end sure holds a whole different meaning than it used to. We rent a cottage every year with another family with small children. We always reminisce of our partying days of the past, but don't want to actually re-live them. I hope you still had fun.

kittenpie said...

I am so with you. It all seems so ... shallow? from a decade away, doesn't it? I've always been one to hang with just a few people I could be truly relaxed with, too, people who don't cause me to retreat. My people.

Kyla said...

I'd rather be with a few people I'm comfortable with than a slew of people, too. It seems like that is the typical blogger temperament. There are some who break that mold, but the people I know tend to fit it fairly well. (But we sure can party when we feel like it! *lol*)

Hope you find your slice of Zen.

Christina said...

I understand. I like small doses of partying, but then I like the quiet peace of being alone or with a very small group of people I'm comfortable with.

And I adore that picture!

Hope you get some much needed peace.

mamatulip said...

SB, this is such a heartfelt post. I really felt what you were trying to convey through your words.

Please don't tell Dave you have a pop-up trailer. He's DYING for one. ;)

I hope you find peace soon.

Pattie said...

Oh Jana, I feel exactly what you are saying. Your life is different now...you have grown and evolved. Suddenly all that "carousing" just isn't as appealing as it once was. I find myself feeling that way frequently.
I hope you found some of that Zen...
:)

Jenifer said...

Isn't it funny how our priorities change over time??

I feel the same way now... I opt out on friends and parties just to have a quiet night at home with the kids.

chelle said...

I crave solace most days so on vacation or time away it doubles. I totally understand. Even in the partying days I would like to step away from it all for short periods.

nomotherearth said...

I know the feeling.

Her Bad Mother said...

That picture? Is brilliant.

L.A. Daddy said...

Sounds wonderful.

Also an extrovert, I was an only child. Which means I like to be around people but I like my quiet times, too.

a ridler said...

...that's the best pic i've seen of that cottage....and i've seen a few!