Simply Introverted

She fans silken petals,
the softest of shells,
not to be coy, just discreetly
distancing herself,

comfortable cocooned,
guilty of pretense,
privacy preferred
over others’ presence,

never unfriendliness,
just not social;
passions and interests
captivate most when alone.

Tending to her own tendrils,
internal biodome, 
nirvana nurtured,
nature, home.

She shows the sides
she chooses;
do not assume
that’s all there is.

No longer fear-restrained:
for the first time, 
she fully lives.

She fans silken petals,
simply introverted,
but continuously gifts
translucent colors and
serenity’s scent.

Poem and image ©LauraDenise

Release Me

How many stories
can there be in petals?


How long can I remain
unfound in the meadow?

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How can the same patch of land
be so ever-changing?


How many more potential bad days
can Mother Nature keep preventing?


How is it that I am the only one bearing witness
to so much magic on a daily basis?


How much longer can the toad’s eye keep me entranced?
And the intricate details in the anatomy of insects?


How much time has passed in that outside world
while I sit among the birds and squirrels?


How is it that nonhuman friends have become so underrated?
And introverts given such a hard time for avoiding socialization?


My colleagues are ordering their second round of drinks.
I confirm with the waiter, “Just water for me.”
Torturous are the hours I prove I’m not an island!
(What’s a few white lies to protect my safe-haven?)


A dragonfly stops by to wink at me,
shows off how he can fly away so freely into the breeze…


The conversation continues. I do not join in.
Release me back into the wild where I fit in…

Poem and images ©LauraDenise

Fences

I have mixed feelings about privacy fences.

On one hand, they are divine to me because I am a private person. I used to think I was an extrovert; I would tell you that I was the life of any party. And in a way, that was and is still true. Because publicly, I am quite fearless and truly a people-person. But I realize it is with the things I permit you to see about me. Which is really just the surface things. It’s not fake, for that zaniness is authentically me. I very much like to perform, to make people laugh, to mix up the mundane.

But I also have never let anyone actually know all the rest of me underneath that. Eventually, in recent years, I began to, here and there. My work friends could not believe some of the things I had been going through while wearing that smile, while pouring nothing but positivity into my surroundings and into the people I’ve encountered.

I’m a private person. I think I always have been. Even before that one score and four years that scarred and taught me how to keep secrets, to keep my personal reality hidden. Eventually, I even learned how to hide it from myself.

I’ve come to realize after all these years that I think I’ve been an introvert by nature all these years. I have very little desire to go out with friends, to socialize outside of work. Any social engagement seems dutiful and quite boring to me, and I can’t wait for it to be over so I can just write or read or immerse myself in nature. I just prefer my own company. Now that I finally have the freedom and space and time to focus on me, I have found my interests and passions to still stem from that same source within that is self-sustaining. I’ve always had it. But now I can hear the tranquil ripples, I can feel the warmth of the hearth, I can see the soft dawning light. I can produce my own fulfillment, my own contentment, simple but deep and pure happiness. It’s all within me. And it occurs within these privacy fences.

I’m thankful for my home’s privacy fence because my neighbors are more limited in observing and judging my “craziness.” Quite a few times, my neighbor has come out to ask what it is I see as I am taking pictures. It’s “nothing” though. Nothing to others. Just nature. Just in my same backyard. Yet I can easily become endlessly lost in that same backyard every time I step out into it. With nature, no matter how small or large the lot, it’s forever changing, always alive. A million different ways there are to frame the moments. And in each, I see a story.

So I like privacy fences for that. But they also box me in. And I’ve never been a fan of boxes. Even a half-acre one. I’d rather have no fences and some natural space between dwellings. I wish not to be a hermit though. My soul would be most content with distant neighbors outside a small town set in older times…

I have a new privacy fence, finally replaced from the last hurricane. It makes the enclosed feeling seem a bit tighter; I’m not sure I like it. I’m slow to warm to new though, and modern. My soul prefers worn. I think I felt this most in feeling sad for my one-year-old pup with the changes; he was having so much fun playing with the dogs on both sides of us through the temporary makeshift fencing the neighboring men put up. Now he can’t even see them through the slats. It feels a bit suffocating despite us being outdoors. It feels too obvious of a reminder of all the ways we distance ourselves from our neighbors, one another, each other, as supposed brothers and sisters on this planet, the ways fences too easily become walls.

Oddly, I dreamed about fences last night. In my dream, I woke to the new fence being destroyed. People came together to piece together the puzzle. Eight bears had caused the damage in quite a commotion involving some wild pigs. When I was young, I had a recurring dream in which a peculiar character was at the privacy fence; he resembled the Purple Pie Man from Strawberry Shortcake. The fence was the one at my childhood home; I never did fully ever actually see the neighbors partially revealed on the other side. I did spend a lot of time beneath the weeping willow tree though.

I am thankful for my privacy fence so I can spend hours in my yard being as “foolish” and “odd” as I want, less conspicuously, taking photos of the “same” things every day. At the same time, I think I have finally entered the level of healing in which I don’t care what others think of me, so in a way, these privacy fences are counterproductive to my growth. Perhaps that is why they fell down again in my dream. I did not intend to put them back up again…


Mending Wall

A favorite poem
BY ROBERT FROST

Something there is that doesn’t love a wall,
That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it,
And spills the upper boulders in the sun;
And makes gaps even two can pass abreast.
The work of hunters is another thing:
I have come after them and made repair
Where they have left not one stone on a stone,
But they would have the rabbit out of hiding,
To please the yelping dogs. The gaps I mean,
No one has seen them made or heard them made,
But at spring mending-time we find them there.
I let my neighbor know beyond the hill;
And on a day we meet to walk the line
And set the wall between us once again.
We keep the wall between us as we go.
To each the boulders that have fallen to each.
And some are loaves and some so nearly balls
We have to use a spell to make them balance:
‘Stay where you are until our backs are turned!’
We wear our fingers rough with handling them.
Oh, just another kind of out-door game,
One on a side. It comes to little more:
There where it is we do not need the wall:
He is all pine and I am apple orchard.
My apple trees will never get across
And eat the cones under his pines, I tell him.
He only says, ‘Good fences make good neighbors.’
Spring is the mischief in me, and I wonder
If I could put a notion in his head:
‘Why do they make good neighbors? Isn’t it
Where there are cows? But here there are no cows.
Before I built a wall I’d ask to know
What I was walling in or walling out,
And to whom I was like to give offense.
Something there is that doesn’t love a wall,
That wants it down.’ I could say ‘Elves’ to him,
But it’s not elves exactly, and I’d rather
He said it for himself. I see him there
Bringing a stone grasped firmly by the top
In each hand, like an old-stone savage armed.
He moves in darkness as it seems to me,
Not of woods only and the shade of trees.
He will not go behind his father’s saying,
And he likes having thought of it so well
He says again, ‘Good fences make good neighbors.’