I Go Down To The Shore
by Mary Oliver
I go down to the shore in the morning
and depending on the hour the waves
are rolling in or moving out,
and I say, oh, I am miserable,
what shall --
what should I do? And the sea says
in its lovely voice:
Excuse me, I have work to do.
“Life will break you. Nobody can protect you from that, and living alone won't either, for solitude will also break you with its yearning. You have to love. You have to feel. It is the reason you are here on earth. You are here to risk your heart. You are here to be swallowed up. And when it happens that you are broken, or betrayed, or left, or hurt, or death brushes near, let yourself sit by an apple tree and listen to the apples falling all around you in heaps, wasting their sweetness. Tell yourself you tasted as many as you could.”
― Louise Erdrich, The Painted Drum
by Madeleine Cravens
After the accident, after the bad date,
the bad year, the bad song, the black-out,
after the six hundred nights of solitude,
in the weak hours of morning, in the long
moment of waking, as I turn toward
the window, this is when it happens.
Everyone with their lovers or in nature,
coming up to touch each other in the dawn
kitchen. My aloneness has a shape to it.
It has a name. It loves the open window.
It expands beyond the statues, past the plaza
and the gardens, the shuttered public library.
My aloneness is spectacular. It burns
like nothing I know. But there is a voice
on the other side of the water. There is a sound
held in the mouth. Light hits the plaza.
My aloneness is a golden horse.
It runs the sidewalk, flaming.