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He said:
"You don't need to be afraid of being alone.
You're stronger than you think."
But I feel TERRIFIED of being alone.
And I don't feel strong.
Instead of strength
I have the habit
Of putting fear and pain
Out of my mind.
If I had strength
I would be able
To keep right on feeling
But remain silent.
Instead I either
    or freeze
    or run
    or blabber.
And so I am always
Unconnected to myself.
Unconnected to others.
I lack the strength
    To feel
    To make mistakes
    To connect.
When I can
    and keep moving
    at a calm pace
    talking and listening
    even in the face of:
        and all the rest.
Then I will have strength
to withstand being alone.
To be myself by myself.

26 September 2000

by Bill Cattey