Definition: I am or I am not

Void in Art

Two blogs to which I have subscribed have taken up the theme “who am I?” and answers are given in poems in both:


My answer to such question is less poetic. But it is short.

I am nothing and no one


I am The Girls’ amanuensis

I am not a student anymore. I am not a daughter anymore. I am not a singer anymore. I am not much of a reader anymore. I am not a friend anymore. I am certainly no parent , no wife, no lover. I have no job. I have not much of a hobby. I am rather useless.

And this attempt to define myself brings me to the issue of solitude, loneliness.

In French, there is one word to say all shades of the word: solitude. In English, there is solitude, loneliness aloneness, lonesomeness; you may be alone, lonely, lonesome. In French, you are seul.

One may find solitude alluring. I have relished solitude years ago. To appreciate it, one must know noise, crowd, busyness to appreciate silence, being alone. Or one may be called to contemplation and know inner peace. This is the positive solitude as in the song composed by Purcell upon this poem:

O solitude, my sweetest choice:
Places devoted to the night,
Remote from tumult and from noise,
How ye my restless thoughts delight!
O solitude, my sweetest choice.
O heav’ns, what content is mine
To see these trees, which have appear’d
From the nativity of time,
And which all ages have rever’d,
To look today as fresh and green
As when their beauties first were seen.

O, how agreeable a sight
These hanging mountains do appear,
Which th’ unhappy would invite
To finish all their sorrows here,
When their hard fate makes them endure
Such woes as only death can cure.

O, how I solitude adore!
That element of noblest wit,
Where I have learnt Apollo’s lore,
Without the pains to study it.
For thy sake I in love am grown
With what thy fancy does pursue;
But when I think upon my own,
I hate it for that reason too,
Because it needs must hinder me
From seeing and from serving thee.
O solitude, O how I solitude adore!

Katherine Fowler Philips (1631 – 1664)

(sung by Alfred Deller)

And one may live solitude like a punishment or a curse, some kind of hell in the midst of noise, crowd, busyness that are uncongenial, or in the midst of nothingness. World without end.

5 thoughts on “Definition: I am or I am not

  1. Currently you may exist mostly for “The Girls”, but that doesn’t mean that is all there is behind your eyes. And, sorry, but “nothing and no one” isn’t quite right. Perhaps you are a vessel that has temporarily been placed out of the way for only “The Girls” to use. Or perhaps, better, you are a fine paper of a texture created from all that is past, waiting for you to write your own future. Perhaps for a while that page will be filled with some marks form virtual visitors, but can you really read the future? Is there never to be a story written on that page? Is not a new chapter written every time your mind lifts from the mundane task at hand recreates a lost past or dreams of a distant future? A dreamer of dreams and a recorded of a life that is no more? Perhaps? And perhaps even more… Today one can explore to the farthest reaches of the universe while sipping tea, and all who own an imagination can do it without even a computer to assist. May you soar in your imagination while you wait for your wings to grow!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Camille, how can you say you are nothing and no one? All that you wrote might be true, but it is but one side of things. Everyone can write a long list of what they’re not. There is another list, of what you are. You are a carer of two people whose life you are improving daily, you are a homemaker, a green thumb (everything I try to grow dies instantly), you are definitely a writer. You are a coper, you are well-read, you are young. I totally agree with Trent. Your time will come, you will find your way. Have faith and do not put yourself down.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Oh Camille, you are someone! To me you are a friend. But I also see you as a talented writer. You are definitely not no one. You are special! You might feel a bit alone at the moment, but you will find a project that will make you blossom. I have the feeling you are in need for sunshine, for people, for friendship and love.
    You are there for other bloggers, you are someone!

    Liked by 1 person

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