National Poetry Month, for me, demands a diet rich in poems. This is simply called "Song" by Adrienne Rich.
You're wondering if I'm lonely: Okay, 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 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 nor mud nor winter light but wood with a gift for burning.
I was going to post the poem with no further comment today but as I've been typing it I realize it is an answer to a discussion in a class last week about aging in which was put forth the finding of various researchers that aging people do better longer if they are involved in a social network. I do not dispute that except the matter arose, what of people who are loners by nature? I fit in this category, I have not lead what's considered a loner life but I have lived lone more than half my life and like it. I travel alone [but often with a group of strangers] I like to go to cultural events alone, I like to walk alone, I treasure my aloneness. I think Adrienne Rich has defined "loneliness" for me -- and perhaps that is true for most of us who write or have pursued other artistic lives.
The mid-70s are a surprise! Part of me remains in the 50s -- age, I mean, not decade of 20th century. It's a joy ride, new experiences land in my lap and I've become a better quilter, poet, writer than I expected. It's a rich life for a person never rich financially. Hey, this is what the mid-70s are like!