My Ode to Solitude


The Porcupine did it again.  He made me think.  This is one of the top ten reasons why I like him.  To me there is nothing better and sexier than thinking and somehow he continues to do this for me.  Feeling mentally alive makes me feel physically alive with the unintended but happy consequence of making me more shaggable to men.  Thanks for that!

It did not come as a surprise that he considers himself a loner as after all I correctly spotted his dare you come closer vibe.  Taking a closer look at this made me think about my own loner tendencies and how I feel about it. I think that many of us just stumble through life not ever taking a good, unvarnished look at ourselves.  This blog may exist for no other purpose than to present me with the opportunity for deep introspection.

So I gave some thought to this idea that I’ve always been my own kind of loner.  I remember when I was married my ex spent more time at our mutual friends’ houses than he did at home.  It was me and the girls, as ever complicit, quietly doing our thing together.  Often I refused dinner with people because I preferred to go to yoga or dance class as a part of my never-ending desire to improve myself.  These friends did not come first – my daughters and their improvement did – ultimately becoming Ivy Leaguers who are, not incidentally, bilingual in French. This was egocentric on my part and it is hardly a surprise that no one cared much when I got divorced.  I had not invested as much time into those friendships as my ex had.

This trend continues as even today I prefer my own company to insipid company.  Since the French say mieux vaut être seul que mal accompagné, I have no problem being alone even on a Friday or Saturday night and often am.  Although I can make social talk to just about anyone I don’t really choose to be with just anyone.  It is an honest truth that I don’t find that many people really interesting.  So when I do, I can’t get enough of them.  In case you think that I’m sounding very self-important, life evens things out as not that many people finds me that interesting, note my lack of second dates.  Ouch… So how do I feel about that?

Actually I feel OK.  I like the fact that I am not complexed about being alone.  This is also a reason I like Brian.  He doesn’t compromise his values to be with just anyone. I think that having the capacity to be alone is crucial to the foundation of a great relationship.  So I hope that my future lover for life will have loner tendencies. Although satisfied with his own company, he will actively – not passively – choose my presence in his life. As the girls and I would often say to each other, “Tu embellis ma vie”, I will make his life more beautiful.

Imagining my ideal relationship is influenced by Pablo Neruda’s Love Sonnet 17 which speaks of the unrevealed.  I relish the idea of always reaching towards that unfathomable part of a person, the part they keep hidden.  This is a key to lifelong partnership bliss for me. I don’t want everything to be revealed about a lover as I’d rather take a lifetime together to discover him. There might be nothing better than two loners choosing to give up their aloneness, moment by moment.  This could interest me forever.

Sonnet XVII

I do not love you as if you were salt-rose, or topaz,
or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off.
I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,
in secret, between the shadow and the soul.

I love you as the plant that never blooms
but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers;
thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance,
risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.
I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride;
so I love you because I know no other way

than this: where I does not exist, nor you,
so close that your hand on my chest is my hand,
so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep.

Pablo Neruda

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2 thoughts on “My Ode to Solitude

  1. Naisha says:

    Oh Nance … The sonnet is beautiful 🙂
    I think I’m somewhat of the opposite… I don’t I’m comfortable with solitude .. So Rome should be an interesting exploration for me next month .. although I doubt there will be solitude for to long..

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