Mauerbauertraurigkeit

Mauerbauertraurigkeit, noun, from the German, meaning the inexplicable urge to push others away, even close friends and people you really like



Without really understanding why, I’ve gone through life ignoring ringing phones, pretending not to be home when there’s a knock at the door, neglecting to respond to most invitations, letters and emails, and generally avoiding any and all social, civic and religious organizations.   

It’s not that I don’t like people.  I do.  I just don’t like being with them; at least, not very often.    

In short,  I’m a loner.  Looking back, I realize that I was a loner, even as a child.  Not a total recluse,  I had a few neighborhood friends with whom I played, but I spent most of my time alone, reading, practicing the piano, or just piddling and dreaming.

At age 65, I haven’t changed much.  I still spend my days reading, playing the piano and piddling, though most of my dreams have fallen away. 

 

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I pass the baby farm next to the turnpike.  Slowing down, my eyes stray to the puddled pasture where the alpacas and donkeys graze.  The wet green field is dotted with widely scattered alpacas, some clothed in pure white wool, others in rusty brown.  They remind me of miniature, spotless giraffes with their improbable long, slender necks and big front teeth.  They appear to be solitary creatures, aloof in temperament.  Each grazes alone.  

I scan the field looking for the two donkeys.  Everything about them charms me:  their big, square jawed faces, their round, fat bellies, and the soft mottled gray coloration of their shaggy coats, blending into the drab winter landscape.

 There they are, side by side under a bare sapling.  Constant companions, they stand close together; they love each other so much.  

I  live like an alpaca, alone and aloof.  Since Mother and Daddy died, I've even fallen out of touch with most of my blood kin.

I have often wished to be more like the social donkeys.  But, as the cartoon character Popeye used to say, "I 'yam what I 'yam" and for better or worse, I 'yam a loner.  


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As I pushed my buggy past the cold case of  hot dogs and lunch meat, I heard a voice say, “I wondered how long it would take before I would run into you at Kroger’s.” 


I did a double take.  It had been a while since I’d seen my sister. Her hair was longer.  Mine was too.  She looked like she’d gained weight, but I had too. It took a me a minute to realize with whom I was face to face. When it hit me I started crying.  

As I clung to her, I whispered, “I feel like I’ve been alone my whole life.”

“That’s exactly what I said this morning,” she said.  “Mother and Daddy just had two only children.  We were both alone. “   

But it wasn’t just my sister and I that were isolated and alone in that green and pink house on Ditman Lane. We were all alone.  Mother, Daddy, Anita and I circled each other like four alien planets, on guard and wary, careful not to ever bump.

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My solitary nature has long been a (sometimes worrisome) mystery even to myself.  Now that I’ve learned the word, ’mauerbauertraurigkeit,’  I’m relieved to know there are other odd balls in the human tribe, who, like me,  for reasons inexplicable even to themselves, are compelled to go through life alone.  We are the withdrawn souls who voluntarily inhabit our own small shells in self imposed solitary confinement.

But solitary confinement, even self imposed, can be a lonely, glacial place.

 


 

I wrote this song for my mother, now gone many years. I've made it a pay what you want download for personal use. Please, no commercial use, however.

  

 

 

Forgotten

Forgotten language of sighing wind
Forgotten faces of long lost friends
Forgotten voices of all the ghosts
Whose tongues are stilled by death's cruel repose

But if I could remember
Then I'd remember you
Before the time of sorrow
And exile from the womb

I wish I could remember
Before I was alone
Before we all were strangers
And every door was closed

Forgotten language of sighing wind
Forgotten faces of long lost friends
Forgotten voices of all the ghosts
Whose tongues are stilled by death's cruel repose

Forgotten faces, forgotten souls

I'm having surgery on July 18th and would appreciate any and all good wishes, prayers or vibes you can send my way.  Thank you. 

Martha Maria

4 comments

  • Susie Williams Taylor
    Susie Williams Taylor
    I love this song....melody & lyrics. And you most certainly will have my prayer going for your surgery. I hope your recovery is without complications & speedy! One day, I hope to visit you again....from one loner to another.

    I love this song....melody & lyrics. And you most certainly will have my prayer going for your surgery. I hope your recovery is without complications & speedy! One day, I hope to visit you again....from one loner to another.

  • Tamara Miles
    Tamara Miles
    This story, so rich, so human, shows me again why I connect deeply with you. My mother said of me, "Your personality is an odd combination of come here, and leave me alone." It's true, the odd push and pull. Thank you for the story, for the beauty of it, for the music, and for hugging your sister. Love you.

    This story, so rich, so human, shows me again why I connect deeply with you. My mother said of me, "Your personality is an odd combination of come here, and leave me alone." It's true, the odd push and pull. Thank you for the story, for the beauty of it, for the music, and for hugging your sister. Love you.

  • James Kennamer
    James Kennamer
    Your website is filled with beautiful music. Keep up the good work. :) Your website is wonderful too, clean and well constructed. :)

    Your website is filled with beautiful music. Keep up the good work. smile
    Your website is wonderful too, clean and well constructed. smile

  • Ron Bowman
    Ron Bowman
    I very much value our friendship! Thinking that you will do well! Looking forward to many more years of your thoughts & wit. Perhaps I will see you this fall. Be brave, do well, hugs!

    I very much value our friendship! Thinking that you will do well! Looking forward to many more years of your thoughts & wit. Perhaps I will see you this fall. Be brave, do well, hugs!

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