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Ostomy Memories on Solitude


Being alone has never been a problem for me. I don't mean in the sense that I live by myself. My wife and I have been married since 1968, four years after my ostomy surgery. [Two days before we wed, Bobby Kennedy died of his wounds. The day we were married, they captured James Earl Ray, who killed MLK, Jr. It was turbulent times.] No, I mean that I agree with Gabriel Garcia Márquez: “The secret of a good old age is simply an honorable pact with solitude.” As long as I have access to a good variety of classical music, plenty of well-written books, and something on which to jot down my thoughts, I'm a satisfied man. When I crave companionship, she's nearby. Even when we walk for exercise, we have different routes. She goes further and faster than me. Don't let anyone ever tell you that women are the weaker sex; it is not true. Another way to put that might be: you know you're getting old when, after you try and fail to open a jar, your wife picks it up and gets it open. “I loosened it” will be your only way to salvage some semblance of your manhood. Then you can sulk back into your den and watch football highlights on YouTube.

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Hello Henry M.
Thanks again for another concept to mull over and comment upon.
‘Loneliness' is usually an unpleasant emotional response to perceived isolation. Whereas, solitude tends to be perceived as a more pleasant, acceptable remoteness, with some personal peace and quiet.
I rarely get the motivation to write rhymes about solitude, but there are plenty of poets who revel in this concept. However, ‘loneliness' creates an emotional problem and many people may ‘suffer' from it. Thus, it provides the sort of impetus for me to pen to paper.
Here are just three rhymes that illustrate some my own contemplation of the subject on behalf of those who ‘suffer':


Loneliness and isolation.
Quickly leads to desolation.
Loneliness if still progressing.
Can be bad and so depressing.

When you are feeling all alone.
With no friends to call your own.
When there is no one to care.
You could slide into despair.

When you're feeling disconnected.
Or when you have been rejected.
The freedom from your agony.
Is to be found in company.

It's not so nice to be away.
If what you wanted was to stay.
It can almost break your heart.
When you find yourself apart.

It's good to have a band of brothers.
To be there with all the others.
Being lonely can unsettle.
It can drain your grit and mettle.

The messages emotion sends.
When you're parted from your friends.
Sometimes makes you sad and tearful.
You can become much more fearful.

Loneliness is quite concerning.
When it keeps emotions churning.
Life's unkind when you're exiled.
You find your mind will be defiled.

Alive with sensitivity.
You're filled with negativity
But there is more to life than this.
All you need's a tender kiss.

                                  B. Withers 2012


Loneliness is feeling sad.
For the friends you might have had.
I have first hand testimony.
It's when you're lacking company.

Too many people's lives are wrecked.
By loneliness and its affects.
Yet all they need is someone there.
Someone to love, someone to care.

Sometimes people fill this role.
And give succour to the soul.
But it becomes imperative.
That there is some alternative.

There cannot be a better bet.
Than to get this from a pet.
With pets you never are forgot.
They rarely take but give a lot.

If you want my opinion.
They make a good companion.
They don't have all those human traits.
That get you into awful states.

Pets don't send your emotions down.
So in the sea of sadness drown.
They're honest and they're genuine.
They have no crap to dump you in.

You can trust pets from the start.
Unlike their human counterpart.
They won't your emotions scar
They just accept you as you are.

The pet is one of very few
Who will always care for you.
A pet is worth its weight in gold.
For it puts loneliness on hold.

                               B. Withers 2012


Loneliness tends to be inclined.
To be a fearful state of mind.
First it raises up your anguish.
Then it leaves you there to languish.

Suffering a sense of numbness.
Denying elements of dumbness.
Looking at the nitty-gritty.
What you've got might be self-pity.

The lonely have a tendency.
To lean towards dependency.
Then suicidal ideation.
Can emerge from your frustration.

Loneliness brings emptiness.
Sullenness and wretchedness.
And with this state of ennui.
Will come unbalanced anomie.

Chaos and confusion reign.
And you begin to feel the strain.
Stability is overthrown.
And once again you feel alone.

As people come and people go.
The loneliness will ebb and flow.
It's people make you feel alone.
And friendship is the cornerstone.

But with some effort I have found.
You can turn this thing around.
With effort it's self-evident.
You can be self-confident.

Don't leave things another day
Look at things a different way.
Listen to that old cliché.
Put your self-pity bag away.

                               B. Withers 2012

(pp176-178 in: A Thesis on Constructive Conversations Inversed. 2012)


Solitude, yes, those long days of lockdown forced many emotions to the surface. There was something in that pause in life that caused thoughts of old friends, dreams of old lovers and many memories to flow. I made attempts to reconnect with those I had come adrift from. One blast from the past blew in with cyclonic force, but sadly blew out again just as speedily. People went back to their normal life and the brief lockdown period  just became a memory. Moving on is a far better choice than chasing shadows they say. Now it is being said that new lockdowns are being planned. Wont make the same mistake twice, lets just get on with what we did before the virus hit. Best wishes.

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