A Freak of Society

I am a freak of society in some ways. A widow and a bereaved parent and an orphan, too, of course. Not many people want me around.

Kirtan is a place where I can free float in a crowd and no one seems to mind. I let the rhythms wash me clean of thought and feel for an evening that I belong. And I use that word tentatively, for I am not a social person. Fear has kept me on the bench most of my life. My agoraphobia curbed any enthusiasm I had for participating in social life.

Later on I was to realize two more key things. One, I was deeply introverted. Two, I was marked out for inner work, for developing my essence.

And then when I became a bereaved parent, I was the Typhoid Mary of the P.T.A. I was a reminder that death was stalking everyone. I pushed my grocery cart alone. I went to the mall alone.

How in the name of everything holy would I carve out a new normal for myself once my husband died?

I did it and continue to do it, one day at a time. Some times several days attack me at once, as the old joke goes, but here I am.

Tai Chi keeps me balanced emotionally.

Walking keeps me in shape.

And if I could spend more time being offline, I might realize that nature is offering me healing all the time.

Gratitude matters but most of all, I remember Bob Woodyard and I am verklempt. Overcome with guilt that I didn’t always treat him well. Overcome with an eternal love where he figures prominently. Whatever he looks like and whatever he does…I have no idea. But it seems good to think that one day I will join him.

Maybe I will be one of those angels that blows a horn. Maybe essays will come out of it. Who knows anything, really? Maybe heaven is a hoot and I have spent entirely too much time trying to figure things out.

Enlightenment is a fancy word for waking up and smelling the coffee. I always hope there is Danish with it.

Vicki Woodyard


  1. Nobody wants you around”…THAT’S BS VICKI~!!! OH NO NO NO…I think this just is not true…as I would have you live here if you want…I know that you are just saying this for artistic license…and i do know we want to feel this separation for our own spiritual development..and this is a good way to get it, because we all need this alone time and this is where we are most spiritual ..away from the madding and getting ever (so it seems) madder crowds..most likely throngs and thongs…of people..lots of thongs..he he


  2. someitmes a fresh cup of coffee and a walk in the fresh air is exactly what I need to feel as if I somehow belong to “whatever this is”. I love you, Vicki.


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