Solitude’s the only game in town

January 29, 2014 § 3 Comments

I’m in a strange kind of mood. I suppose the closest word I can find to describe it is ‘melancholy’. But it’s a mood that arrives when I’m a little tired, a little overwhelmed, a little sad about something.

Right now I’m missing a dear, dear friend so much it hurts a little. It physically hurts. I can feel the ache of their absence just behind my sternum. We talk often – a couple of times a week at least – but it’s just not the same as being together. There’s an energy in our meetings that replenishes me, but which I find incredibly hard to walk away from. It’s a wrench, and it’s the wrench that hurts a little. It leaves me feeling lonely whether I’m alone or in a room full of people. So yes, I’m melancholy and out of sorts.

The upside, however, is that it’s the perfect frame of mind for songwriting. Well, for me it is. Somehow when I’m in this state, I find it easier to express myself in lyrics and melodies and harmonies. What would probably bore someone to tears if discussed over a cappuccino, somehow works when I pick up my guitar and begin to sing. My melancholy leaves me through my fingers on the strings, or my pen scratching at the blank page trying to find just the right word in just the right place.


I started working on a song last night; the chorus came to me late one night in November and it was time to add some verses and a bridge. The bridge was half-written when my husband got home from work, and immediately I stopped writing, because the melancholy isn’t enough. I need solitude as well.

The melancholy isn’t enough. I need solitude as well.

And now that’s all I’m craving. I’m alone in my home office, but it’s not solitude, because everywhere I look are distractions, tasks, deadlines, all manner of things demanding my attention. I’m too easily diverted by them.  And I need to be able to try things out: sing the same thing over with a different word or phrase, without wondering if someone else is listening or getting irritated.

So if anyone wants me this afternoon, I’ll be far from the madding crowds in a park somewhere, with just my journal, my guitar and a pen.

Please do not disturb.


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§ 3 Responses to Solitude’s the only game in town

  • Eileen says:

    What a beautiful piece Mandy. I, too, have such a friend who lives so far away. Hope you found solitude and balm for your soul this afternoon.


  • Tracy Todd says:

    Oh Mandy I can relate. Right now I’m missing somebody I’m very close to and I’m totally out of sorts. I feel a hollowness. I feel as if a part of me is missing. I’m struggling to stay positive and keep a smile on my face.
    Unfortunately I’m not musical and I cannot write songs. I’m burying myself in all sorts of other distractions to pass the endless days until he returns.
    Thanks for a lovely post. It helps knowing I’m not alone.
    Stay strong.


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