July 13th, 2015
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haruf

The darkness of night time has a way of intensifying the emotions of life.

I think that is why when we are having a bad time of it during the night and cannot find our way to a good night’s sleep that we are consoled by the light of a new day.

I know that if I happen to wake up in the middle of the night and find myself staring at the ceiling that my most urgent worries immediately travel to the front of my brain.  How am I going to pay that bill?  Why did I say that today?  What’s going to happen at the meeting tomorrow?  I have to remember to call so and so tomorrow.

To share or not to share.

That is the question one asks in the middle of night.  If you are lucky enough to have another person sleeping in bed with you, do you wake them up, whisper that you need to talk or do you keep those worries to yourself, let them continuously flutter around in your head and hope that in the early light of morning they will disappear?

Or is the middle of the night really all about the need for human connection?

The need to feel you are not alone.

In “Our Souls At Night”, award-winning author Kent Haruf expertly takes readers to the fictional town of Holt, Colorado where we meet two widowers in their 70’s: Addie Moore and Louis Waters.  They don’t know each other very well even though they have been neighbors for decades.  The book opens with Addie Moore asking Louis Waters if he would like to come to her house and spend the night in her bed, sleeping with her.  Not for sex, she tells him, but for conversation and comfort.  To make the nights less lonely.

Because she wants to share and talk about her life.

Because she is tired of feeling alone.

alone

Perhaps people pursue this kind of thing in real life.  I really don’t know.  I don’t know anyone who has ever done it.  But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen and I can completely understand if it does.

I have been a widow for many years and when you are widowed, there are a million and one adjustments you are forced to make in your life after your loved one has died.  From going to the grocery store and reminding yourself not to buy your loved one’s favorite food to not having someone to talk and share your day with when you come home from work to the hardest adjustment of all: learning to sleep alone.

And this is where we find Addie Moore.  She doesn’t want to sleep alone anymore and she wants Louis Waters to share the nights with her.  Taken from “Our Souls At Night”, here’s a bit of dialogue between Addie and Louis to give you a flavor of their unique story:

“But this is different.

How different? Addie said.

Well, it’s us.  We don’t seem improbable to me.

You thought so at first.

I didn’t know what to think.  You surprised me.

Don’t you feel okay now?

It was a good surprise.  I’m not saying it wasn’t.  But I still don’t understand how you got the idea of asking me.

I told you.  Loneliness.  Wanting to talk in the night.

It seems brave.  You were taking a risk.”

“Our Souls At Night” is a bittersweet and sparse story.  It is a book worth reading because it is also a beautiful story about two adults who intimately know the shock and pain of losing their loved ones and are determined to prove that they are not finished with their lives.

Addie and Louis want people to know that that they are still capable of creating excitement in their lives and meeting challenges.

Addie and Louis have more chances to take and they don’t care what anyone thinks.

Especially after the sun sets.

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