Alone/Lonely – Certainly not the same thing

you can be one without the other. I’ve always defined lonely as wanting/missing something, or someone, you had before but don’t have now. Make sense?

I am alone. A loner. Always have been, always will be. It’s who I am – no problem. I don’t really think of myself as an introvert. I like people. I can live without them tho.  I interact easily with anyone and everyone. And give me an audience, I’m singing and dancing.  I don’t like crowds and I don’t like people touching me without permission. I’m not really one to hug people I don’t know well.  And sometimes I not comfortable with hugging people I DO know well.

This train of thought was promoted by a post from my friend Jennifer – and it reminded me of a poem I wrote a long time ago. About a particular person and my relationship with him. Rooting around in my old writings there is so much about that person and that relationship. How incredibly dysfunctional it was and I have repeated that dysfunction in every relationship I have ever been in.

Oh my old therapist and I would have a high old time if we could sit down and talk all this through. I suppose it all boils down to repeating the same behaviors, trying to get them right. Things is, you never get them right because they were wrong from the very beginning.  Ye-ha – I don’t even want to think about this any more – makes my head hurt.

Anyway, this is the old poem I wrote sometime back in the mid-80’s

Alone – but lonely?

  No – not that…….


Just apart from,

that is ………….

not a part of.

He and I – alone,

us two, then

we’re together

He and I and

anyone else then

I’m alone and not

a part of

Not we or us or


Just me – alone

and he with them.

He a part of….

Me apart from…

Lonely – not exactly

Just alone,

Just one,

Just me.
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At 2:34am

It’s 2:34am I decide to sleep
– but sleep has other plans.

Aggrieved! My brain voice shouts
– and laughs.
Aggrieved! in an indignant voice.

soft the a; hard the g; long drawn out e’s –
Now punch that D.

It’s 3:34am – Am I asleep?
Awake? – My brain voice says
“aggrieved” – I feel a smile.

It’s 6:34am. I slept, I dreamed.
I laughed. I know I did.
I dreamt the word – aggrieved.


Haven’t a clue what it means. But it happened – just this way.

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Try to remember…

Today is Veteran’s Day and there are many postings about it. Vanilla referenced the art installation at the Tower of London – thousands of ceramic poppies – one for each fallen British Commonwealth soldier of WWI.  Of course that led my mind to In Flanders Field by John McCrae.

We had to memorize that poem in school. In fact throughout the lower grades we had to memorize a poem a week and each week several students were required to recite it in class. It was a teaching tool on several levels – train the brain, literature, public speaking, and in the case of “In Flanders Field”, history.  All of that rolled into memorizing and reciting a poem.

Of course that is no longer done – waste of time. Have to teach to the test and then test. No time for education. (Okay, do NOT get me started, my head will explode. Some states have so many required tests that 60-80 out of 180 school days are used for testing. Ow, ow, ow – my head!)

My way of thinking is such that everything is a reference to something else – that something else being a bit of flotsam and jetsam that crossed my path. The problem is often I can’t remember the original source. A line from a poem haunted me for years. Could not remember the exact poem. I swore it had to be Wilfred Owens, Rupert Booke or Sigfried Sassoon. I could have sworn it was a war poem. I spent decades – DECADES – trying to track that poem. Part of the problem was my mis-remembering the line. I had one extra word in it. I googled my little fingers off – nothing. I finally came up with a search term that elicited the answer – William Blake. William Blake? Yup, a poem called “London”.

This morning I once again tried to recall the name of that poem. I remembered it was Blake – and I remembered I first read it in my Norton Anthology Vol. II – thankfully that old college textbook is still on my shelf. Easy to find when you know what you are looking for.

Sometimes I recite poetry in my head as I do mundane tasks – because I like poetry, because I can, because it is soothing, because it reminds me of something or other that pleased me then. Because it is probably a good thing to do to keep the little grey cells functioning.

Song lyrics are poetry – I know a gabillion of those. I suppose if young people today memorize song lyrics then that is somewhat analogous to memorizing poetry – tho I really don’t think today’s lyricists compare with even – oh, hell they don’t compare favorably to anyone with a brain and reasonably decent language skills. 

Ouch, ouch – I am doing ‘in the old days’…Okay, I’ll go quietly to the home now.

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Pumpkin Madness – None for me thanks

A few years ago I ordered some tea as a gift for a friend and since then every month I receive the latest catalog and a free sample from The Republic of Tea.  Tea is a benign substance that appears happy to accommodate every odd fruit, vegetable, herb and flavor known to man.  In all the months of free samples I have yet to encounter one that is just tea. I must admit to some guilt in this area because my tea of choice is Earl Grey, which is black tea infused with oil of bergamot.  And no, despite all the health advisos, I do not drink green tea because it tastes like something you should not be drinking…nuff said.

October, the grandest of all the months of the year, not least because it is my birth month, seems to have been designated ‘pumpkin month’ resulting in every conceivable food being infused and combined with pumpkin or its flavor, natural and not.

This month’s tea sample was pumpkin spice and I thought I’d give it a whirl, or rather a steep. What a waste of good water.  I tried to like it. I tried to drink it. I was unsuccessful on both counts.

Then there is that bastion of bad coffee, whose beverage offerings can only be compared to Jim Jones’ kool-aid. They seem to have a count-down to the day you can obtain their pumpkin flavored potions.

Scroll around the interwebz this month and you will discover that pumpkin and its perceived flavor has been added to anything and everything even remotely edible, drinkable and smellable.

I like pumpkins. Cunningly carved or prettily painted. They are cute. They are festive. They are fun. But aside from pie – Stop the pumpkin madness.

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Silly Stuff

I’ve never quite understood what they mean when they say “Live each day as if it is your last” I would like to spend the last day of my life stuffing my face with jelly donuts and having hot jungle monkey sex.  The last day of my life will probably be spent in a hospital bed, pooping in a diaper and gasping for breath.  Truth to tell I’d rather not spend each day doing either of those things…enticing as the first may seem.

My husband has an insanely high IQ. He is a high school drop-out (the high school he dropped out of was Boston Latin and he left because he was bored) who took the LSAT on a whim, studied for it by reading through the study guide they provide, while on a bus from Burlington VT to Boston, MA, made it to the test site barely on time and then scored in the 98th percentile.   On the other hand he needs detailed instructions on how to boil water.

One of the side effects of anti-depressants is suicidal thoughts.  At least you will die happy.

It seems silly to me but here I am, almost 68, somewhat of a gimp, living pretty much as a recluse and I have never been happier in my whole life. Joy is an every day thing in my world.

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Oh for craps sake…

I was reading Vanilla’s post about how he finds certain plants a bit off putting. It started me thinking about my own relationships with flowers and plants, likes and dislikes and how I got this way. Which of course led to my mother, and I was thinking of writing about her preferences and whether mine, which mirror hers, are just part of shared DNA or whether they were acquired through osmosis.

I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about my mother – she was/is not a nice person. Whether she was born that way or her life made her that way, I do not know. I don’t think she had a very nice or happy life and she seemed to want to pass that on. She certainly made my life a misery even after I walked out of hers after 48 years. Actually she did the walking, I just never bothered to go after her.  But the effects of her ‘nuture’ still bedevil me at times.

So this while thinking about floral preferences and from there perfume preferences, I got a little creeped out about whether it was nature or nurture, our similarities. I don’t want to be anything like her. I don’t want to follow her footsteps through hell, neither the one she occupies nor the one she visited upon other people.

As I was sitting down to type up this post, which was going to be more about flowers than mothers, she was still on mind. Memories of her still pricking my brain, upsetting my soul.  I don’t do this often, if ever, if at all.

Then my eyes drifted to the top of my computer screen and today’s date caught my eye. October 1st – my mother’s birthday. If she is still alive she is 98.

If she is still alive it’s because neither Heaven nor Hell wants her.

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Less is more

Not only in a material way but in an emotional way.

Lately I have found myself not only happy in my reclusiveness but happy in my pulling away from personal attachments and emotional and psychological attachments.

It hasn’t been a conscious effort. It hasn’t been any effort at all to tell the truth. It was just there one day. I was thinking about family. I don’t have one. I never had one. I think I only missed having and or being a part of a family because I thought I was supposed to. This troubled me. The not caring part, not the ‘not having/being’ part.  The feeling unnatural part when I knew that for me, it was not unnatural.

Running this through my mind, trying to find some reason why what is so important to others has no meaning for me. And why is this so? And why am I made to feel like there is a part of my psyche missing because I don’t miss having a family. Or feel a need for family. What is wrong with me, I thought.

‘Family’ was just one of the normal attachments I’ve never had, and struggled with understanding why I didn’t. I never felt I was missing anything. I never wanted the attachments that are considered normal. I never felt a need for them. I loved and was loved, yes. I gave and received affection, friendship but when it was gone, it was gone. And not mourned, perhaps missed in a nostalgic way. Good times and all, you know.

But then I laughed out loud. A warm laugh. A laugh of acceptance. There is nothing wrong with me.

My non-attachment is just who I am. I am not attached to material things; I accumulate them for their use, chose what pleases my senses AND my practicality. When a material thing is no longer useful, nor does it please my senses, I get rid of it. It is just a material thing and carries no emotional weight.

And when people leave my life, or I leave theirs, there should be some sort of emotional distress. My only distress has been that there hasn’t been any distress.

I’ve spent a good portion of my life trying to fit my emotional/psychological life into what I have been told is the norm. It hasn’t ever suited me. It hasn’t ever felt natural and real to me.

It is not that I don’t love. I do. It is not that I don’t have real affection for the people in my life. And it is not that I no longer get angry at the ways humans mistreat and hurt other living creatures. I do. And I cry for others pain and joy. I am moved by a certain kind of sentimentality, or by any kindness to me.

Maybe it is a matter of getting older and becoming who I really am. Becoming the essence of myself.  The self that was burdened and smothered with trying to mold itself to the norm and the expected.  I no longer feel the need to fit that mold.

I don’t feel that I am making myself clear. If I could draw then I would draw pale warm light. I would draw gossamer wings. I would draw oneness. I would draw all encompassing arms.

I am both solid and ephemeral. I am filled with this crazy joyousness in nothing and everything.

I am wondering whether I am at the end of a journey or at the beginning of one…

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