The lovely thing about being alone at the moment is knowing I'm not lonely. Feeling so sure of this time and all the quiet, of needing it. I spent Sunday on a train and a flight back to Copenhagen and after a lovely week bustling about the UK with friends, it felt SO GOOD to be with my thoughts again, and watch the world drift past me.
Adrienne Rich is a favourite of mine, the way she perceives and dives into the heart of things (dives into the wreck, as it were). She finds the fragments of hurt or fear and their beauty, shines light on the parts we find hard to articulate, let alone acknowledge.
To me this poem is all about strength and veracity. Of not being afraid to make your way, to make hard choices, to make a life and feel every moment. We must be awake to all of it.
You’re wondering if I’m lonely:
OK then, yes, I’m lonely
as a plane rides lonely and level
on its radio beam, aiming
across the Rockies
for the blue-strung aisles
of an airfield on the ocean.
You want to ask, am I lonely?
Well, of course, lonely
as a woman driving across the country
day after day, leaving behind
mile after mile
little towns she might have stopped
and lived and died in, lonely
If I’m lonely
it must be the loneliness
of waking first, of breathing
dawn’s first cold breath on the city
of being the one awake
in a house wrapped in sleep
If I’m lonely
it’s with the rowboat ice-fast on the shore
in the last red light of the year
that knows what it is, that knows it’s neither
ice mud nor winter light
but wood, with a gift for burning.