To have solitude

Between Solitude and Loneliness

When James Wright Cheered up a Lonely Poet (With Bananas)


  • Exhibit A: “Love consists of this: two solitudes that meet, protect and greet each other. ”
  • And here is B: “What is necessary, after all, is only this: solitude, vast inner solitude. To walk inside yourself and meet no one for hours — that is what you must be able to attain.”

My sister showed me a picture of you. Isn’t that funny–how we can do that now. Here is a person you used to know. Living without you. Living beyond you.

I smiled. I found reassurance in the smile on your face and was reminded I did the right thing. It’s been 9 years since I sat in the shadows of the mountains and wondered what would be the right thing; 5 1/2 since I determined the right thing. We were alone together, but it was never solitude. I could create an aloneness which you could not follow. I could be out of reach in the next room, in the same chair, with my back to you in the bed. It was loneliness which crept in while you played video games late into the night. While I drove home in the snow. The loneliness I was escaping when I followed another to the bar, when I sat with another in the car and felt my day fall out of me. We got it so confused. We are better off for it. Well, I am.


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