inquiring+life laura duggan essays self-study courses Laura Duggan poetry meditation join the mailing list about inquiring life


Loving My Own Life

Sitting on the red-upholstered rocking chair, with the cat stretched out across my lap, his chin resting on my hand, a feeling of contentment fills me. Somehow I want this moment to be witnessed, for someone to walk in the room and see me sitting here, so content. For a moment I reach for the phone, to call an old love of mine, to share the moment. To see if he could witness this. I hesitate, then put the phone down.

I glance over my shoulder at the picture by Renoir, “Girl with Cat.” The similarity of the scene is uncanny. I bought that picture years ago, before I had a red chair or a loving cat. Every detail in the painting, including the way the cat’s paws lies comfortably on the girl’s arm, shows that Renoir witnessed that intimate moment perfectly.

I look back on my own moment, my cat so comfortably ensconced on my lap. Nothing short of a loving eye like Renoir’s would be appropriate at this moment. Anything else would detract from, rather than complement, the feeling. I become my own witness. I embrace my aloneness.

An image rises in my mind. I’m unable to distinguish if it is a dream, or a reality that feels dreamlike due to the lack of clear memory. The image is of a person I’ve just met, (is this real or not?) along with the words, “If you want to include him in your life, you have to change and open to him.” With surprise, I realize that at this moment, given the choice, I will choose my aloneness. Although the image is fuzzy, it’s clear to my mind that whoever he is, he’s no Renoir.

Back to the top




Read More Essays:

Essay Home Page

Sweetly Present

Power of Thought



Poverty Begins Here

Accessing Inner Wisdom

A New Year

Sage Advice for Parents

Boxed in by Time

Thoughts for Thinkers

Wisdom from an Elder

Wedding Blessings

Down to the Sea

Allelu, Allelu

Loving My Life

If you like what you've read here, please consider making a donation.