the silence of ONE

Sometimes I find myself slipping away. Inside myself, like a turtle. With all this activity here at my sisters, the times that I actually have to myself are fricken precious.

It can be so difficult sometimes to constantly have to be … I don’t know…I’m not even sure what the word is … quiet? Patient? Dispassionate? On? I’m not certain there is an english word for this sense of having to hold ones self to ones self. To hold your opinion, bite your tongue, grin and bare it. So having time to myself, by myself, on my own, to do what I want, when I want, how I want…is pure and utter bliss. It keeps me sane, lets say.

It’s like taking a big breath of fresh air…and re-charging the ol’introvert battery.

Strange, I now look back on those months this last winter, all on my own, day after day. No visitors, really. Just R&T once a week for groceries, and sometimes a visit, but they are like me. They require their time to themselves. They worried. And I think for probably good reason, mind you, cause I was fragile this last winter. Like those millions and millions of individual snowflakes that come together to make that winter wonderland of white fluffy shite, I could melt away. Four feet, six feet, sometimes of that white fluffy shite. To shovel and walk through, and man oh man, I do not miss winter in that sense. Not entirely. I miss the beauty of it, just not the tenacious grip it holds on that land of Grey.

Yet, those four months this last winter … as trapped as I may have been in my winter wonderland prison … I will hold the memories of that time tightly. They are precious to me. I now crave that solitude; sometimes. When it is just Irish and I, it was so much simpler. Not always necessarily easy to have only yourself to rely on, but I could get used to that solitude. And like that quote of Camus from my Tagline

“In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.” Albert Camus

I remember after high school, and there I was in the BIG city, going to art school. Well, London (Ontario), population 300,000 or so. Which to a gal from rural Dodge, London was quite another animal then Dodge.  I was 18 and for the first time I found myself walking around on my own. I was so self-conscious. So unsure, quiet, innocent, and had no idea what I was capable of. In school you were considered strange for walking alone, it was looked down upon.

Girls. One was always surrounded in these gaggles of girls. Sometimes giggly, sometimes not so much, but always groups of three or more, always. From around 12 or 13 no one would ever want to be found on ones own – for instance at a mall, or GASP, sitting on your own in a food court. I had always felt like I was odd to begin with (secretly), much more so than others (of course), so I liked that cover those gaggles of girls gave me.

Yet there I was one day, walking those downtown streets alone, and sitting in the food court having lunch and not giving a rats azz. It took time, because I always felt very exposed. I was so certain that everyone was looking, only at me, just because I was on my own. It took a few years to feel ok on my own.

It’s a distinct memory, for some reason. Like this defining moment of WOMANHOOD. I was able to walk around on my own. Like geesh. Would love to see the look on my face if I could go back and tell that 18 year old self that when you’re 45 years old, your boyfriend will die and you’ll spend four months isolated next to a frozen lake, with a furry blond dog, in the middle of a frozen wonderland, and you’d be surrounded by only cedar bush, AND, you are going to miss that time and even fantasize about one day getting that feeling back.   I’d be like “what??, do I go insane!!?

It’s a bit of a revelation though, this need to be on my own. When I was in a much BIGGER city { that being Mississauga }, one can imagine that trying to find solitude in the ANTHILL that is the GTA (Greater Toronto Area) is near impossible. Well, finding anywhere outside your front door where there are absolutely no people … is very rare. Towards the end, I found it grated, and like any pervasive, constant annoyance, it wears you down and you find yourself dulling that sense of anxiety with liquid libation (or other drug of choice), rather than solitude that I really craved.

To eat what I want, when I want, how I want, is so blawdy excellent. And most of all, not have to speak. And not have to pretend that I’m not terribly sad, all the time. I have to work at this face I show, you know. Otherwise I’d just bring everyone down. I’ve had little chats with myself about this. Sad? I ask, or Depressed? I can with confidence say just sad. Well, not JUST. but you know.

Solitude though sometimes is so necessary, atleast for me. It helps me to get a sense of direction back. Helps me to practice the “I don’t give a frack” attitude…cause quite frankly that does not come easily to me. I do have to work at not giving a flying frack. I have always cared, and therefore have always remained a spectator to my own life.

Well, frack that.

My new motto is “Smile, agree, then go and do whatever the frack you were going to do in the first place”. It’s really just self-preservation.

I realize that every grey winter brings summer, and to not fear it. To embrace it, and acknowledge it, and know that nothing lasts and that it will pass. The rains may come, but the sun rises in the sky every year, and at such an angle summer comes. Perhaps briefly, or for longer then we expect, but it always returns.

I guess its called faith that I’ve acquired, maybe that’s really what it is. So my solitude is my retreat into the cave, in order to gain focus. To incubate. It’s like I have to just tune everything else out, in order to re-align myself, and recharge.

So one will find me (and please don’t) on the porch, puffing away on my cylinders of sin, watching the day become night, and being thankful for this glorious solitude.

“Therefore, dear Sir, love your solitude and try to sing out with the pain it causes you. For those who are near you are far away… and this shows that the space around you is beginning to grow vast…. be happy about your growth, in which of course you can’t take anyone with you, and be gentle with those who stay behind; be confident and calm in front of them and don’t torment them with your doubts and don’t frighten them with your faith or joy, which they wouldn’t be able to comprehend. Seek out some simple and true feeling of what you have in common with them, which doesn’t necessarily have to alter when you yourself change again and again; when you see them, love life in a form that is not your own and be indulgent toward those who are growing old, who are afraid of the aloneness that you trust…. and don’t expect any understanding; but believe in a love that is being stored up for you like an inheritance, and have faith that in this love there is a strength and a blessing so large that you can travel as far as you wish without having to step outside it.”
~ Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet


5 thoughts on “the silence of ONE

  1. I think solitude is much underrated. But that may be because it is for most, quite frightening.


    • Thank you…and sorry in my delayed reply. Trying to catch up. I’m realizing I’ve missed quite a few comments in the last couple months 😦

      I write better on my own, actually. I guess there is a balance though


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