Solitude or Lonliness

Diane - Evansville, Indiana
Entered on June 26, 2008

This I Believe

Solitude or Loneliness

I’m a college student at a local university and I’m also 68. My husband and I had decided we would live exactly as long as one another because neither of us thought we could ever live without the other. When he died suddenly, at work, of a massive heart attack I had to find out different, or perish, as he had. I’m still here

Websters says solitude is the state of being alone or remote from society. That solitude may imply a condition of being apart from all human associates by wish or circumstance. Websters says loneliness is, according to some of its meanings, “the state of being alone or being cut off from others, producing a feeling of bleakness or desolation.”

I have lived alone since my husband died, by wish and circumstance. If Prince Charming were to ride up on his prancing white horse, I wouldn’t see him. My husband was IT. “My Only and Forever Love,” as his tombstone says.

I wish my. husband had taken care of his diabetes, that he had hated candy, cakes, pies and other sweets as much as he did any vegetables or fruits. I wish he could have lived a lot longer, but I am not lonely for him. I have solitude, but I do not have loneliness.

I rejoice in the solitude I have to work on my chosen college classes, to write books, short stories, articles, poems and plays, and to spend time with my bird each day. He is a Yellow Nape Amazon Parrot, Kelly green with yellow neck feathers, blue flight feathers, and a few red feathers too, the best of the talking parrots. I had read that “dogs understand, cats don’t care, but birds are miserable if you don’t spend daily time with them.” He talks and sings, “ Jesus loves me this I know for the Bible says it’s so,” and says “I Love You,” whenever I walk in to the room. And he says “Goodnight, Love,” when I turn out the lights at night. He also challenges me, “I can talk, can you fly?”

Solitude gives me time to court the creative muse, to list such ideas as I receive, on whatever my current project is, or even something brand new. Sometimes the ideas shine so appealingly, so very quickly I have to use shorthand to record them before they can vanish away. If I had to deal with loneliness, I couldn’t make such lists or plan so joyfully to use them, in fact, I could never even feel like sitting down at the computer trying to write.

Loneliness and Solitude have similar connotations, but they are completely different ways of living. I believe that people can choose to be happy and creative in solitude, or they can choose loneliness and live a bleak and desolate life. The choice is what makes all the difference. We really can determine the very way we will live our lives.