I had a lovely afternoon yesterday. The sun was out and I got my work done early and headed to one of my favorite parks for a walk, then met my friend Linda for a sit ‘n knit followed by a decadent dinner of fabulous pizza.
Linda was the primary catalyst, a few years ago, for my transformation–and that’s not too big or grandiose a word–from recluse to what I am now. I don’t know what she saw then, but she embraced my reclusive self and helped bring me out of my fog of loneliness. This stanza from When One Has Lived a Long Time Alone by the poet Galway Kinnell beautifully describes that state of being, that aloneness I lived in for most of my life, and the promise that one can come back to one’s own. I hope you find meaning in these words, too.
When one has lived a long time alone,
and the hermit thrush calls and there is an answer,
and the bullfrog head half out of water utters
the cantillations he sang in his first spring,
and the snake lowers himself over the threshold
and creeps away among the stones, one sees
they all live to mate with their kind, and one knows,
after a long time of solitude, after the many steps taken
away from one’s kind, toward these other kingdoms,
the hard prayer inside one’s own singing
is to come back, if one can, to one’s own,
a world almost lost, in the exile that deepens,
when one has lived a long time alone.