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Solitary Man

Solitary Man

Oil on board, 18x18, Oak floater frame



I started a new school my freshman year in high school.


My parents moved us all from Radnor to Archbishop Carroll.


My brothers went a few years before me. 


They felt that it was a good fit between the values and sports in the Catholic League.


I remember that summer, my dad told me they were switching me over.


I didn’t get a say.


They said I would like it.  It would be easier to have us all in the same place, plus the bonus of a uniform every day.


I was sad.


I wanted to stay with my old friends and school.


But it wasn’t an option.


I was scared.  But did as I was told.


I felt so alone in the hustle and bustle of the cafeteria.


A sea full of unknown faces.


I pretended to “fit in”.


“I’ll be what I am.

Solitary Man”


My old school friendships fizzled out, and I was trying to find my “people”.


I joined the basketball, swim, and lacrosse teams that year.


Those first 3 months were brutal.


I cried a lot.


I just kept showing up.  Putting one foot in front of the other. 


Trusting that things would click.


Knowing that I can do hard things.


Eventually as the months went by, I felt a little more comfortable, and made a few friends on the different teams.


Over the course of 5 decades, I’ve been a “solitary man” many times.


All the big transitions:  going to college, new jobs, becoming a mother, launching my art business, etc.…


All hard, but all necessary for the seasons of my life.


Without these opportunities, I would have never been able to connect the dots and realize that there is beauty in the solitude. 


Strength in the silence.


This tree is the “Solitary Man” on our property in Maine.  Planted firmly in the ground for decades.


Reminding me that quiet confidence is powerfully grounding.



Music reference: Solitary Man, Neil Diamond

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