The Withdrawal

reading the story of the hermit, the one who hid even his footprints from the world, I want to say, i understand. 

i understand the desire to pull away. i know the way that swaddling oneself up in the shawl of solitude keeps the loneliness at bay. 

that desolation has an oily stench that saturates the drapes and carpets, it leaves a grit between your teeth. but solitude is just a gentle pressure on the eardrums. it's letting your heartbeat massage your aching temples. 

i know the comfort of communing with plants or dogs, neither of which ask the hard questions.

like "how are you?" 

i understand the power that comes, in the moments just after. after you have lain on the floor and let your hair soak up the puddles of tears and snot, a sodden tangled mop. in the smoothness that comes after the wobble.

i understand the forgiveness that comes with saying to yourself "this is good enough, i can be happy with this, i did as much as i could and as much as was needed." 

i understand the hermit, standing firmly yet secretly on his own two feet. I may even envy him, just a little bit, just sometimes.