Here, on this surge of hill, I find myself
not as I am or will be or once was,
not as the measure of days defines my soul;
beyond all that a being of breath and bone,
partaker of wind and sun and air and earth,
I stand on the surge of hill and know myself
Below, the stars sink landward, and above
I breathe with their slow glimmer; fields are gone,
the woods are fallen into the speechless dark;
no claim, no voice, no motion, no demand.
It is alone we end then and alone
we go, creatures of solitary light;
the finger of truth is laid upon my heart:
See and be wise and unafraid, a part
of stars and earth-wind and the deepening night.
I don’t do alone well. Never have. I’ve always preferred plenty of activity around me, planning gatherings, and filling days to the brim. Very little of my day is spent by myself and I designed it that way. But once in a while there comes a time when I must quiet myself, be still, and simply be, with no agenda. With our children grown and gone, this is happening more often than I prefer even though the love of my life and I often commute to work together, eat meals together, spend our evenings and nights together. It is just so much … quieter now. So quiet.
Typically I don’t prefer my own company but I’m slowly learning the lessons of spending time alone. There is no glossing over my flaws nor distracting myself from where I fall short. Alone is an unforgiving mirror reflecting back what I have kept myself too busy to see. It is going beyond all that a being of breath and bone can become.
Slowly but surely I sit within my own skin more comfortably, gaze out through 62 year old eyes attached to an over-capacity brain and begin to appreciate thinking random uninterrupted thoughts as they occur to me, as the finger of truth is laid upon my heart.
I might even decide I’m fit company for myself. Maybe someday. Probably not today.
Anyone up for a cup of coffee?