The Gift of Solitude

Captain’s Log   5,792

I had a busy and wonderful day yesterday.  I fired a client who wanted to do stupid things in the museum.  Case in point, we will NOT clear the entire exhibit floor so 50 guys can play slot cars in the middle of the room on a track that is 30 x 40 feet.  Sorry.  Go find another museum.  What’s the point of being in a car museum when you remove all the cars?  You might as well go to a hotel.  Yes?  It felt good to tell her to take a hike.  I was nice about it.  But not completely nice.

I had a board meeting that was okay.  I am no longer trounced and clobbered in those meetings because the bad guys from the Confederacy are no longer there to do that.  I know they are huddling behind bushes waiting to pounce again with another attack (probably in the media again), but for now, the air is fresh enough to breathe.

After that, I headed off to meet Friend Pam and her daughter at the opening of the new Sonic restaurant in San Diego.  Friend Pam works for the utility company and assisted them with the installation of service, etc.  She was allowed to bring several friends as VIP’s.  So I arrived as a VIP and was allowed to park in one of the ordering stalls right in front of the door.  Sonic is like the old-fashioned drive in places where the food was brought to your car.  Many of the servers wear roller skates.


Not the Sonic I went to last night but you get the idea

I didn’t have to sit in my car either.  The party was inside.  Anything you wanted on the menu.  Anything.  Everything.  It was all free.  A driver from Fed Ex showed up and wasn’t aware that it was a private party.  No problem.  He got free food too.  It was pretty hilarious.  The best thing about Sonic is the milkshakes.  Everything else is BLAH, but the shakes are completely and totally out of this world.


I came home and read more magazines about Philip Seymour Hoffman.  Holy shit.  How sad.  Why do so many brilliant people have trouble being with themselves?  I have often wondered that.  What leads someone down the path of self destruction?  Diane Arbus, Hunter S. Thompson, Jerzy Kosinski, Sylvia Plath, Ernest Hemingway, Freddie Prinze, etc.  Did Hoffman mean to do it?  We will never know.  We do know he meant to use.  Playing around with something that will kill you almost constitutes an agreement that you are willing to die.  At least to me.

What causes that kind of despair?  I know that despair is often the result of loneliness.  I also know that loneliness does not always mean being alone.  The most lonely times in my life have happened when I was surrounded by people.  Loneliness is not a reaction, it’s a state of mind.

I have seen the video below several times.  I find it inspiring.  Especially for those who need sanctuary from the madness of the everyday world.  I fall into that category.   Alone is okay.  Alone is good.  Alone can be powerful.  It is not bad.  It is just different and comes with its own gifts. Give yourself a gift and watch this amazing piece of poetry set to film.


Filed under Captain Poolie's observations

24 responses to “The Gift of Solitude

  1. joanie

    What a great video! Sometimes I wonder what it might be like to be alone because I never have been (except for short spurts when D. is out of town). But that’s not really alone. Alone time is enjoyable for me temporarily, but I always know it’s going to end. It’s kind of scary to think that someday it may not and I will have to adjust. I’ll have to keep this video for future use!

  2. Loved that video, thanks for sharing it! Holy crap, people are so… incredible..

  3. Wow, messages I needed to hear at the time I needed to hear them. Magic. I understand the suicidal thing, and it is amazing to me the people who do not. I think of PSH (like I know him, which I don’t) as one of those people who’s thoughts are VERY loud, overpowering, a lot. Mine are like that. I guess also there are some people who convince themselves that they can get as high as they want, and they will never die. I am not that kind.

  4. So many people have been asking me how I can handle being alone now. I tell them, I may be alone but I am not lonely… for the most part. Sometimes I am a bit sad when I see other couples having fun together but most of the time, I feel contentment.

  5. Dear you…..most of those truly brilliant folks that you named were/are mentally ill. Being depressed or bi-polar can be lessened through self medication, but then again, you knew that. And how long would they be racing their cars in the center of your museum? LOL

  6. poundheadhere

    I didn’t realize you didn’t have Sonic there. We even have one in the small community where I live (though thanks to road construction it’s really tough to get there right now). My daughter loves their tater tots and chili cheese fries. I love their BLT. Other than their shakes and fries, though, I didn’t think they had much by way of vegetarian-friendly foods.

  7. Being by myself is not being alone. You have to learn to be your own best friend. When you look at the different kinds of personalities who decided to end their own lives, you realize that — whatever the cause — it’s more than you can explain in just a few pages.

    I have known for some years who Diane Arbus was, but I didn’t learn who her husband was until he died. He was Dr. Freedman, psychiatrist, on a dozen episodes of M*A*S*H.

  8. Patty O'

    Thank you for celebrating Alone. It is what you make of it…and of yourself. If you are grieving it is good to have comfort and condolence but it is in the moments of Alone that true healing begins. If you can be Alone and very, very still you can hear the sound of your own heartbeat and marvel again at simply being Alive. If you are in a difficult relationship it is startling to realize that Alone is not only Good, but Better. While Alone one can learn Peace. And then, of course, one can go out and get into mischief…

  9. maryz

    We’ve had Sonic around here for a long time. They have great limeades, too. I hate their commercials, though.

  10. Glad you had fun at Sonic.

  11. Penny Tushingham


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