The final days of yearning.

August 3, 2019 § 4 Comments

I’m glad I grew up when I did, when connectivity was restricted to a phone with a curly cord that hung in my family’s TV room–such a public space.

And so, in my one private place, my room, all I could do was yearn and dream and imagine. I spent hours inventing conversations with boys who in real life had said little to me and thought about me even less, putting words in their mouths as we fell for each other.

Those relationships, and even the boys themselves were products of my heated imagination.

Alone in my room I yearned, serially, for each of those boys, imagining hand-holding, slow dances. We could not communicate with each other in that sanctuary. I could only communicate with myself, thrilled as I imagined something I had yet to experience.

The phone was the connection between me and other yearning girls—again public–although I could stretch the cord into the laundry room and close the door on it creating the illusion of privacy, “Do you think he likes me?” But my parents knew right where I was and, come bedtime, made me hang up.

Once in a while the call was from an actual boy–which was awkward with a sister, brother, grandfather, and two parents on a nearby couch watching Ed Sullivan. The conversations were awkward too, never as fluent or romantic as those I had imagined.

Of course, even then, with a driver’s license and wheels couples managed to do stupid things. The urgency of biology comes with being young and alive, but I am not thinking about that urge. I am thinking about the tremulous state of anticipation, imagination…yearning.

Being young when I was, I had time to be an avid amateur, time to grow into adulthood slowly. If I had been connected to friends and guys, day, night, and all the time behind the closed door of my room I wouldn’t be the imaginative dreamer I am today, creating stories out of thin air, and the world needs stories, novels, songs. The world needs isolated dreamers.

Instant gratification is an addictive junk-food providing a quick sugar-high. Anticipation allows us to savor the possibilities, causes us to lean toward our dreams with fervor, even experience the thrill of things that will never happen.

Picture a drop of water trembling, gathering weight. The moment before it falls—that is yearning. Yearning is the prelude to the joy that follows—yearning creates the joy that follows.

I’m glad I grew up when I did, in the final days of yearning.

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§ 4 Responses to The final days of yearning.

  • Robyn says:

    So achingly true.


  • audzawed says:

    I, too, grew up with a phone with a curly cord. Ours was in the kitchen area on the wall near the snack bar, which was conveniently within reach of the door to the basement. If we required privacy, we could stand on the top step and partially close the basement door. Until your post, I hadn’t realized how a lack of instant communication/gratification might contribute to creativity, but you’re right. You need time away from all the chatter and the drama. Without that pause, without that silence, how can anyone think and dream?


  • April D Penton says:

    I love this- rings so very true!


  • persisgranger1 says:

    Yes. Perfect. How well I remember all my dreamed-of conversations!


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