If a jar of wine is left in place a long time, the wine in it becomes clear, settled, and fragrant. …So you, too, should stay in the same place and you will find how greatly this benefits you.—Evagrius Ponticus, Philokalia
Solitude has come to roost on the window sill.
Flapping his wings, he alights,
Tilts his head slightly, left, right,
Looking inward, studying the past,
Peering at conscience,
Surveying the world.
Peripatetic, he asks the eternal questions.
Thoughts stream in as shafts of light between
Trees standing among truths freckled by shadows.
Answers, always partial
Sparkling in a box of stars
Or glowing like the moon.
He attains a brook, freshly, soundlessly flowing
Uphill, roundly wholesome, utterly speckless,
Nestled atop high inaccessible
Mountain reaches. Glassfuls of water
Bring not forgetting but understanding,
Memories revolving slowly,
Uncanny clarity of a magical goblet,
Bestowing peace, oil poured into wounds.
Solitude is a healer…
Solitude is a healer of memories.
Gently, he rubs liniment on bruises inflicted
By verbal assaults, sharp words.
Cooling menthol soothes and spreads.