Antidote to Loneliness

During my week alone I cleaned and sorted and filed all kinds of things and came upon this poem that our Uncle Ed had saved among his papers.

He lived alone for 20 years – more  even.

Ever since 1991, when his beloved wife Fran had to go into a nursing home with her Alzheimer’s, and then for the 12 years after she died and before he followed her into death this past April.

I remember sending him it.

My daughter had sent it to me.

Between me and other family members, we saw him four days a week but I suspect the other days were long indeed.

I hope that it comforted him and that he believed its message. Anyway here it is.

It’s called ‘Everything is Waiting for You’ and it’s by David Whyte.

Your great mistake is to act the drama

as if you were alone. As if life

were a progressive and cunning crime

with no witness to the tiny hidden

transgressions. To feel abandoned is to deny

the intimacy of your surroundings. Surely,

even you, at times, have felt the grand array;

the swelling presence, and the chorus, crowding

out your solo voice. You must note

the way the soap dish enables you,

or the window latch grants you freedom.

Alertness is the hidden discipline of familiarity.

The stairs are your mentor of things

to come, the doors have always been there

to frighten you and invite you,

and the tiny speaker in the phone

is your dream-ladder to divinity.

Put down the weight of your aloneness and ease into

the conversation. The kettle is singing

even as it pours you a drink, the cooking pots

have left their arrogant aloofness and

seen the good in you at last. All the birds

and creatures of the world are unutterably

themselves. Everything is waiting for you.

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2 thoughts on “Antidote to Loneliness

  1. Yes, inanimate objects do speak to us. I am very devoted to the many items I have collected over the years – paintings, glasswork, carved woodwork, and photographs. And then there is Angel. I am never lonely, though so many people have vanished from my life – husband, friends, colleagues…

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