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7/23/06

Dear Kim:

It was wonderful to have breakfast with you today and to reconnect in physical space again after several months. So much has gone on in both of our lives.

Seeing you at breakfast helped me to remember once again how poor I am about keeping up with my friends for things like lunch or dinner. Or maybe it is not that I do it poorly. Perhaps it is more accurate to say that I do it reluctantly.

I wonder why that is.

My sister is great at seeing her friends on a regular basis. And she doesn't necessarily make a big deal out of it.

Someone will come by for tea or she'll take a walk with them. She is training for a mini marathon with a few friends so they go running. She shares tennis lessons with another.

This seems like a wonderful way to see people. Briefly. Either in conversation or a shared activity. Without much effort, she makes it as naturally a part of her day as is my reading the newspaper or writing to you.

I would love to socialize that way. In short bursts.

I have a hard time spending extended time with people in social settings. The kid in me, probably the kid who had ADD that was never diagnosed, gets fidgety and bored. After just so much conversation, even if it is quality conversation, I want quiet. To take a nap. Or read a book. To go swimming. Or play with my birds.

I stay in touch with lots of friends by email. I force myself to try to talk on the phone with them, even though I do not like talking on the phone.

But this, of course, is not the same thing as sharing real time and space. And I am aware that I am missing out on something when I do not see them more.

My friend Val who lives in L.A was astonished that I was not lonely when I was there alone last winter for six weeks and that I was content to essentially see each of my friends once or twice when I was there.

I don't know, Kim. Once or twice worked for me. I felt like I connected intimately when I saw each of them and that was enough for me. I preferred to spend my time writing or walking on the beach.

I wonder what it is about me that has all the time and energy to go to a performance, even if I am tired, but not to have lunch with someone I like.

How about you? How do you see it?

Kim: My dream day has always been to spend it by myself making things. One of my favorite activity to do with others is to walk, especially if it is somewhere I haven't been or to see some art...or downtown, Chicago.

Do you know the restaurants in Chicago called "Heaven on Seven?" Their postcard reads, "if you are tired of parties going to hell... Come to Heaven!"

When I tell people that I'm taking a day or two for vacation they ask where I'm going. It is always work in my studio, see art, or meet someone for lunch.

I'm wondering how much social stuff I'll want or need when I'm not working a regular job. I'm trying not to make any committments for 2007 or beyond, because I really want to wake up one day and be able to ask myself (in the words of T.S. Eliot)

'What shall I do now? What shall I do?
I shall rush out as I am, and walk the street
With my hair down, so. What shall we do tomorrow?
What shall we ever do?'

Later,

Joan

Saturday, May 27, 2006

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