Living Alone

Entrance to alamosa canyon

July 23, 2014
Bohemian Grace
Nogal Canyon Road
Bent, New Mexico

Living Alone

Sadly, it is the men I have loved the most who have taught me the value of my solitude. Not that I haven’t always been a solitary person, because I have, but it took sharing my space to confirm the value of the same. I have loved, fast and furious, deep and longing, wild and joyfully. I have loved once, twice, three times, sometimes with the same man, one in particular but also with others. I have not been promiscuous but I have had my share of men, most handsome, wild, untamed, and reckless, wild stallions all. I have no regrets and the reward of the challenge is solitude, pure and precious, unshared by choice rather than circumstance. I still have a man in my life and others who would share it; I simply prefer to be alone as much as they do. The kindest of them I keep at bay, their gentleness threatens the core of my freedoms.

A woman friend once told me, “Nice is good,” in response to my rejection of a kinder man than I was inclined to entertain. I acknowledged that and even acquiesced to his advances, my worries were later confirmed. He was ‘nice’ but he was also needy and far too dependent on me for his happiness, my independence was threatened and I soon departed. There are other reasons for that also, I have no desire to relinquish my freedom and so much of that depends on my strengths, if I were to allow someone to cater to me I might weaken. For me weakness is not an option, I have spent my lifetime developing my independence. Perhaps there will come a day I may have reason for regret but I will take my chances, so far there is no remorse.

The morning finds me at peace with myself and a great appreciation for my solitude. I woke to the quiet of the dawn and wandered outside to inspect my small garden. I pulled a few weeds, savored the aroma of the mint and the native tea and admired my squash plants. In years past the garden was larger and I would have grazed a while, the scarcity of water has contained my efforts for the moment. I prepared my tea and oatmeal in the absence of the gentle taunting of my sometimes companion, and laughed all the same when I thought of him. I then sat to write as I have rarely done of the last few weeks as I seem to have lacked either the time or the solitude to do so. It is only in the absence of distraction that I return to my full self and the longer the interim between those visits the more I appreciate the value of that.

I have always dreamt of finding a true life partner, and I still do. There is a treasure that I have tasted but never fully shared and I know enough about it to see what I have missed. I have had such loves as that and savored the sweetness but never saw them to fruition, my lovers have always been immeasurably flawed and I am sure they said the same of me. I could easily blame it on my mothers’ failings or my fathers’ selfishness but there is more to it than that. Even when I was a girl I chose my own path and soon came to glory in the wonders of my solitude, the richness of my own thoughts and the multiple paths I had to choose from. Free from the constraints of society and partnership I embarked on an adventure such as few people chance to take. I went places I might have never gone and met people I never would have spoken to and it shaped me into the woman I am today. I also had the luxury of the time to contemplate and record those ventures, such as I never would have if that time had been shared. There is little to regret in that.

There was a man I met many years ago who I might have married. We fell in love the moment we met, or perhaps even before. It was fate itself which led us to meet and the same which kept us apart. We did a year long dance from a distance but let it go too long, we fell apart before we truly began. All the same we remained friends and when we reunited years later my heart broke in two to think of what I’d lost, on the way home I thought of what I had gained. If we had wed I would have worshipped the path he walked on and relied on him for my happiness, as I had tried to do with others. I also would have failed. We are our own keepers and must find our own joy, it is a lesson I might have never learned and as precious as any other. We are still friends and he has a lovely wife and I am glad they are together.

I gave a friend a ride home last night as I saw him walking when I drove past. I turned back and offered him a ride and asked that he not take it the ‘wrong way’ as he had approached me once before, and the hour was late. He assured me it was fine and when we arrived at his house we paused to talk. The conversation was rich and I eventually turned off my car, and then the lights, comfortable enough with the company. The conversation had a rare richness and it was with regret I departed, my plans for the morrow demanded I get my rest. He leaned in and asked for a kiss, I replied with a gentle hug and I left, pondering his kindness. I could love a man such as him, in so many ways, but his gentleness frightens me. My outlaw friend called me this morning but I turned him away also, I need some me time to write and I am learning the true value of living alone…………

2 responses to “Living Alone”

  1. Gwen Dunkle says :

    Men. Good topic. Wish I could write freely. I think I have a lot to say on that subject as well.

    As I am married. It seems inappropriate. To speak of him and others.

    I envy your freedom to speak. I didn’t realize I lost it until now.


    • cathieeisen says :

      Dear Gwen,

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts, it is always rewarding to know that I have touched someone’s life through my own experience and honesty and I wish for you the same. The insight which I have gained through sharing my life has made me who I am today and I so appreciate the same from others. Perhaps a pen name and the ensuing freedom and adventure of the same? We all lose things along the way but to lose the freedom of speech and sharing seems unfair for ourselves as well as the others who might never gain the insight lost to the silence! Your statement says so much.



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