Bar Scott

The Ups and Downs

Like so many people, I suffer highs and lows. Not the clinical kind — at least that’s what I tell myself. I’m not on meds to even-out my moods. I’ve always thought I managed my low times pretty well. I have confidence that they’ll pass soon enough. And the high times are so enjoyable I’m not willing to give them up.

When I woke up this morning my shoulder hurt, my back was cranky, and the nagging voice of disquiet in my brain was at full volume. When I finally got outside with Wally (our dog), I ran into a friend who was out walking, too. He’s an older gentleman, a man who lives much the way I do. He’s an artist, a loner with a social streak, and an inward looking guy. We often bitch and moan with one another about all the things we wish were different around here. Our little town frustrates us both. It’s too conservative, there aren’t enough young people, and we can count on one hand the number of people who are other than pink-skinned. Both of us are longing for diversity, longing for activity, and the stimulation that comes with, say, a college town. To our credit, we see the irony of our complaints. When we lift our eyes we see miles of tall green grass, endless Colorado sky, and a pristine view of the Rocky Mountains.

We could move somewhere else, of course, except we'd have to give up the freedom and affordability that come with rural life. Some days it feels like a trap. Other days we feel like the luckiest (and smartest) people in the world. My guess is everyone feels this way at times.

So what do we do?

My friend and I always end our morning rants by agreeing that finding joy in the work we do is the best way to improve our crappy moods. He’ll go out with his camera later today and document the people and things that are good about living here; I’ll sit at the piano and continue to work on Beethoven’s “Sonatina in F,” and the day will end where it began: in bed with a soft pillow under my head and the chance to begin again tomorrow.

Comments

So great to see your message here, Joni! I think about you every so often and wonder where you are and what you're up to. Your note fills in some of the blanks. I'm glad to hear you're near your son. It's worth the emotional work it's taking to live near him. I feel at home here mostly, and I hope that you will begin to feel at home in CA very soon. For me the biggest thing that's helped are my friends Doris and Nicole who I write with regularly. Not only do they inspire me but they're trusted friends. It took a few years to find one another so it may take a few for you too. In the meantime, you've got sunny skies to look up to as do I. Not sure I could give that up at this point so I think I'm out here for good. Thank you so much for writing and for reading my sporadic blog. If you're ever in Colorado, come see our little town. love, Bar
Doris, You're my strength. Thank you for being there and here and everywhere. Loved dinner Tuesday with our gang. Love you all so much. And yes to a very soft pillow. That's my kind of pillow! See you soon.
Dear Bar, I too have my low days. Attempting to lighten the horizon, I have chosen to listen to less national and international news. The news is a downer, and I end up feeling like a terminal patient - bound to a hospital bed and linked to a poisonous drip. Close friends and laughter see me through. And writing. I love your final sentence - I find sleeping on a soft pillow and flannel sheets in the summer - to be very healing.
Hi Bar, I moved from Woodstock a year and a half ago to be near my son in Southern Cali. Although I love the weather I had no idea how very different life would be. Woodstock is quite a unique little town and after spending 36 years there, I think I forgot that the rest of the country is quite a bit more conservative. Building a new life will take some doing, finding friends that I can relate to will take time. I hear what you are saying and have wondered if the move was a wise one. Meeting my son to share a meal ever couple of weeks makes it clear to me this is where I need to be. Life changes and so do we, here's hoping we both find/create that comfortable place that feels like home. Still love reading your blog after so many years, sending you a big hug
Dear Colleen, one of the things that was on my restless mind last night was the need and desire to write to you. I woke up and put it on my list so you'll get that letter soon. Thank you for being another constant in my life. Love from the mountains, Bar
Bar, Thanks for this thoughtful comment about "place," and the inward journey of a sometimes "social" introvert. You are, so often, in my thoughts.

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