Solitude

A gift of old age. Or a curse.

To learn to take in hand,

and not to be subjected to.

To be ardently sought for.

Solitude,

allowing us to think,

move perhaps back into the past

which is the basis of all we do, 

the past of things best forgotten,

or the foundation of the future.


Solitude opens the door

to thoughts one would hope

to keep at bay.

In solitude we become aware

of our bodies,

of the vagaries of our mind,

over which we have no control.

We become aware

that the end of the journey

is almost within sight.


Is it thanks to solitude

that when you take

your evening walk,

undistracted by useless conversation,

you suddenly notice what otherwise

you would have missed?

The shimmer on the cobblestones,

the orange-tinged sky,

a bird, just one, hopping on the wall?

Or the lights marking the paths to other villages

up high in the surrounding hills,

the clusters of lights, constellations,

telling you there are other souls out there?


The architect of all things

 must have been in solitude

when the world and living creatures

were created.


Waiting too has its companion in solitude,

when one can lose

awareness of oneself

and simply

wait.


Alone with oneself,

one fears loneliness,

afraid of feeling alone

and being invisible

to the surrounding crowd.


Yet in solitude you are never alone.

5 thoughts on “Solitude

  1. Yes the time is coming..

    Solitude and loneliness are opposite poles. Loneliness is a barren place denied access to all human contact. Solitude embraces all that is and lets you share it like a candle flame in the dark.

    J

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is a gorgeous poem, Erika. I’m sorry it has taken so long to message you. Brett and the children are an explosion of energy and joy. We are having a blast exploring the city and simply staying at home making meals. We went on a three day camping trip to the San Juan Islands. I clearly need a day of rest. Hugs to you, Linda

    >

    Like

  3. This is as much a meditation as poetry Erika and I’ve read it three times now. In Britain recently one of our prominent poetry journals (Magma) published an issue on the theme of solitude. I found almost all the poems conflated solitude with isolation and loneliness. There seemed to be just two exceptions (was a beautiful reflection by a young father alone in the house for the last night before his wife returned with their new baby). Otherwise the poems were full of negativity. Your poem is so much wiser and more rounded.

    Like

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