The Art of Being Alone


The strings of the bow stroke the strings of the violin until their cry soothes the plucking vibrations of the Spanish guitar.  Smooth.  Sounds of another world – a fantasy life – bouncing off cream-colored walls.

Candles flicker and dance in appreciation to my music and give off romantic scents and dreams of their own.

I participate in this world by adding the beat of heavy jeans in the drum of my dryer; the swish of sheets rotating in my washer.

I am proficient in the art of being alone.


On cloudy, rainy days such as today, my defense against the gloom is the flipping on of too many light switches.  I pick a surface to scrub, knowing I am the only one who will notice my effort.  I comfort myself by sinking my hands in hot, soapy water.  I ignore the dust in the corner that keeps the spider company as she expands her web.  Today, I’m tired of fighting with both of them.

I will sink further into myself and put pen to page.

I will extend my world by scanning the lives of others displayed in full color on a bright computer screen.

I will read the works of other writers, amazed at their skill in saying what is in their heart.

I’ll formulate lists, assemble supplies, cook a meal, and wait.

Later, someone will ask what I did today.  I will struggle for an answer.  Busy?  Yes.  Although, does anyone really want to hear about a day like mine?

My heart is constantly dreaming.  I get tired just from thinking of all it plans; wondering how much this middle-aged woman can accomplish in what time she has left.  “Follow your heart…”, they say.  I would, but my heart is filled with wanderlust and can’t seem to make up its mind!

So…another day of alone; another day dancing like no one is watching…because no one is; of singing loud because no one is listening; of talking to myself while dreaming of conversations I hope to have later with someone else and in those dreams, I won’t stutter or cast down my eyes like I do in real life…a result of spending too many years perfecting the art of being alone.