Sunday, July 16, 2006

Lonely


Little man was invited to a birthday party today. As it often seems to be with small folks, it wasn't your typical house party where Mom bakes a cake and the kids play games in the living room. This one was held at a horse ranch just outside town. The kids saw horses. They rode horses. They ate cake. They swam.

Well, most of them did. Noah took a pass on riding the horses. He's like me in that way: he'd rather observe from the periphery. The horses scared him, enough so that up until this morning, he didn't want to attend the party. Only after I promised him that I know how to "speak horse" did he smile and relent. I guess a little parental humor goes a long way toward allaying a child's fears.

So we watched, carefully and quietly from the back, as the stable attendants brought Ricky out for an equine meet and greet. Noah politely declined to touch, brush, or otherwise approach said horsie. He kept a close eye on me to ensure I was never too far away from him. After 15 or so minutes, he started to ask about the cake.

It was a hot and humid afternoon, and our little guy patiently occupied himself while the other children rode the horses. I was proud of him for being so clear about what he would and would not do, and so well-behaved in the process.

As we slowly walked out of the stable, I caught this rather mournful sight. I lagged slightly back and quickly snapped it before we lost sight of the rest of the group. It struck me then that, perhaps, a horse stable's sole purpose in life wasn't simply to house a bunch of majestic animals. It was also a quiet place that gave people - little and big - the opportunity to pause for a quick moment and appreciate being away from the rush of everyday life. Loneliness, after all, doesn't have to be a sad state of being.

Your turn: What does loneliness look like to you?

14 comments:

Shelli said...

It looks lonely. I hope that isn't how you feel. You are not alone.

kenju said...

Lonliness is an empty beach, Carmi.

Morah Mommy said...

Loneliness is not having someone to hug. Thankfully I have all of you.

h&b said...

I think you captured 'peaceful'.

I'd like to be in the doorway by the end, feeling the warmth of the sun, and the musky smell of the horses.

Now i'm thinking of how horses flare their nostils and snort, and I love that.

Florence said...

This photo has a bleakness about it, but I can't help wondering if I might be effected by your previous post but one. After reading about your adventure and looking at the picture again it still seems distant, remote and lonely. The big crack running along the floor emphasizes a feeling of abandonment but I wouldn't go so far, perhaps just a form of neglect (emotionally speaking) or of being left behind.

No one image comes to mind of what loneliness is to me.

xx

cyndy said...

My first thought was an elderly person in a chair in a nursing home...

srp said...

The last wave of a daughter's hand as you drive away from the dorm that is twelve hours away from home. Not specifically lonileness for her, but for the mom in the drivers seat wiping the tears away.

srp said...

BTW - this is an absolutely gorgeous, emotional picture. Perfect in black and white. I don't see lonliness exactly, but a quiet peace.

KaraMia said...

Lonliness is my sons empty, made bed. Funny how they leave gaps when they are gone, even for a night.

Shephard said...

Loneliness is Venice canals at 6am, soon to be overrun by light and tourists.
~S

Sandy said...

Ok, so really, you need to publish your photos -- I mean outside of the blog realm. You have a gift Carmi. An ability to capture beauty in the most unexpected places.

Lonliness is a single person sitting in one of those empty chairs in the post that comes after this one.

toni said...

Loneliness is the dead silence between you and the one you love.

Shan said...

http://despair.com/loneliness.html

Sandy J said...

Loneliness can be a good thing. It make you appreciate the times when you are not lonely.

Fabulous story and picture, Carmi.