I am sometimes overwhelmed in a mystical kind of way by the inner potential of my life. I have 64 years of raw material to sift through, organize, reflect on and be amazed by. I recently read that Germaine Greer gave all her papers to a university in Australia. Researchers are going through her material and books may be written from what they find. Gloria Steinem recently published a book about her life on the road.

We are all books with distinct chapters. I could write stories about each decade, each relationship, each job. I am ‘living history,’ a continuum of events that build on or transform a fragile, ephemeral form called ‘me.’

The definition of an introvert is a ‘self-centered’ person. I can’t imagine myself not being this way. The ‘self’ is all that is. It is the nucleus (the central and most important part of an object, movement, or group, forming the basis for its activity and growth), the seed.

Mindfulness is now taught, but it is naturally done by many women. If you like your own company, value time alone, and find as you grow older that you seem to have grown more introverted, chances are that you have been practicing your own form of meditation.

Jean Shinoda Bolen, Crones Don’t Whine.

More and more, I find myself saying “I am,” with an authority I never felt before. What happens around me does have an impact, but increasingly, it is having an impact on ‘me.’ When in college, I gravitated towards sociology, which is the study of social problems. Most of my adult life has been spent trying to understand group behavior. I mistakenly thought that if I understood ‘the larger phenomena’ I was a part of, I could understand me.

But for an introvert, this doesn’t work. My group affiliations have alway been discordant and short-lived. I spent my life trying to be part of a group that didn’t want me. I don’t fit in, I don’t conform, I don’t mimic. Group behavior is alien to me, as are ‘personal relationships.’

I am a solitary individual, from Latin solitarius, from solus ‘alone.’ This is a beautiful word, ‘solitarius.’ It sounds regal, commanding, powerful.

He was admiring a statue, standing on a stone platform attached to the wall. It was a statue of a female deity, performing a dance. The noble head on its slender neck seemed to contrast at first with the full breasts and the lewdly raised foot and Grijpsta was surprised that this naked sexual figure represented divinity and that he accepted her divinity. Undoubtedly the figure was free, quiet, detached and powerful. Superior. The thought flitted through his head. Superior. Free. Definitely free.

~ Janwillem van de Wetering, Outsider in Amsterdam


A massive shift is occurring.

Fissures are forming in the rock.

Heat is causing the molecules at my core to dance.

Out of the cracks, green stems bloom into delicate flowers.


5 thoughts on “Solitarius.

  1. “My group affiliations have always been discordant and short-lived.”

    As a fellow introvert, ditto. As it were, most days I [mostly] believe I’ve made peace with this reality, though I truly wish “the outside” would quit trying to convince me it’s an unnatural/unhealthful point of view. (Yes, especially my mother.) But, also yes, ageing seems to be steeling my resolve, as well.


  2. “My group affiliations have always been discordant and short-lived.” This poignant line spoke to me as well. By the way, thank you for recommending Slaying the Mermaid in a previous post. I found the parts about history very illuminating.


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