After writing for a week alone in my old shack,
I guide the car through Ortonville around midnight.
The policeman talks intently in his swivel chair.
The light from above shines on his bald head.
Soon the car picks up speed again beside the quarries.
The moonspot on the steel tracks moves so fast!
Thirty or so Black Angus hold down their earth
Among silvery grasses blown back and forth in the wind.
My family is still away; no one is home.
How sweet it is to come back to an empty house—
The windows dark, no lamps lit, trees still,
The barn serious and mature in the moonlight.
~Robert Bly, “Living a Week Alone” from Like the New Moon, I Will Live My Life.
Being introverted, I would expect to enjoy time alone. But I don’t. A conversation with myself is uninspiring, leading me back into the inner circle of my thoughts when I would much rather explore the unknown of another’s view of the world. Alone, I feel exceptionally unexceptional and extraordinarily ordinary. Quite simply, without others around me, I’m empty.
At night, when I drive up to our farm and see both house and barn glowing with lights and life rather than still and dark, it is a warm blessing to return home. Someone left the lights on for me.
I’ll leave the lights on for you as well.
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