Solitude sits in my poetry chair

Posted by Erin on 2nd March 2011 in Erin's Thoughts

Me and the quiet breathing of the house and  Solitude who sits in my poetry chair.

The chair I share with my cat, Picasso, in the mornings and read Mary Oliver or Billy Collins to as she purrs.  The chair is in front of a large window that has the best view.  Now the Sun, more brave and sure of himself, leans over my shoulder on these mornings and eavesdrops on the notes I make in the margins.  I’ve made a fire by the time I sit in my poetry chair and I’ve made an espresso on the stove – a collection of scents that now signal to me that I am starting a new day – a day I feel welcomed by.

But it’s not morning now and I don’t have the company of the Sun, or of anyone.  Solitude visits mostly after sunset.  She likes my poetry chair the best, I think, because of the bits of moments collected on it with the clumps of cat hair and bits of dirt in the folds of the cushion.  She is an intense companion – never saying much of anything and when she watches me I get self conscious of what I might be displaying just by sitting here. Does she scrutinize my contemplations?  Is she keeping track of how well I savour my alone moments, my creative opportunities, my own company? Does she keep an accounting record of how many details I can notice or the capacity of my senses for nuance or the amount of time spent avoiding her gaze? Is she proud of me?  Or if not, is she compassionate?  She doesn’t crack jokes with me to ease the tension – instead she’s impassive in that way of the serene who have no need to make you more comfortable because they have no need to *be* more comfortable.  It makes me feel so….*accountable*.  All that shows up is my own.  And Solitude tends not to offer me distractions.

But when I hear the rain on my roof like an irregular heartbeat I feel her noticing it with me. It’s like that moment when you’re with someone and something catches your eye, then catches their eye, then you catch each other’s eye and you both know what the other is thinking – what it is meaning to you and what to do next about it.  It’s deeply satisfying to synch up  like that.  And she does it with me now and it makes her company feel easy on me.

Solitude just sits in my poetry chair. Listening to the night get serious about itself.  Listening to my thoughts twirl around. Intensely and serenely saying nothing about either. Unapologetically accepting the invitation to hang around, half ignored – half adored.

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