“The Peace Of Being Alone”

key to home

Wrap me in your warmth
And shield me from the cold.
A blanket would be nice.
It is worth its weight in gold.

A pair of shoes, I am in need,
but I won’t hold my breath.
‘twould be too much to ask
of those who have the wealth.

Need I hold out hope,
for a home to call my own.
A roof to hide the stars,
and the peace of being alone.

Written by,
Shelby I. Courtland
© 2013 Shelby I. Courtland

There is a difference in being lonely and being alone. The homeless are never alone, even out in the streets as there are always people passing by. They are lonely because they are shunned due to the loss of their identity. Our identity is also defined by our address and when we have none, we are never alone. If they are in shelters, there is never any peace and if they are on the streets, they are harassed. Again, no peace. This Christmas, think about how you would feel if, when you left your job, or went shopping, there was no ‘address’ for you to return to, no familiar personal belongings left untouched because they are behind lock and key and you are not toting them around with you; exposed for all to see, just as the homeless are, exposed and yet, invisible. Can you just imagine what it would feel like to a homeless person, who after 20 years of homelessness, turn a key in their very own lock, enter their ‘home’ and for the first time in years, experience the ‘peace of being alone’? Think about it!

8 thoughts on ““The Peace Of Being Alone”

  1. Shelby, Thank you for this. I’ve never been homeless. So far. But this feels true. Among other horrible things, having no home must be somewhat like being in prison in never being alone, not in the positive sense of mind-healing solitude and privacy at least. And prisons pervert such ‘privacy’ into the worst punishment — solitary confinement. Maybe it’s the fact of having no choice that makes being alone, or not, so dreadful. – Linda


    • Thank you for your comment Linda! I am not long in after the Homeless March and have mercy! Do I need a ‘pick me up’ or what? I need some fire in the veins! Yes, indeed!

      I have been homeless, not for years and years, but after the apartment that I was living in after I had left my abusive ex, burned to the ground, I was homeless for a few weeks. And since I had only moved in a few months prior to the place burning down, I had not had time to purchase insurance and so I lost what few things I had managed to accumulate in that short amount of time.

      That is a great analogy Linda, the forced solitary confinement and the forced solitary loneliness but not ‘aloneness’ of the homeless by the fact of their homelessness. Having a choice makes all the difference in the world. When that choice is taken away from you, it has a very damaging effect on the spiritual aspect of the person as well as the emotional and psychological. It takes a serious toll.

      Believe me! I am grateful and thankful every day when I leave my home and turn the key in the lock and not have to tote my belongings with me around in a shopping cart or in a backpack and get told to “move along, no restroom facilities unless you’re buying something.” Or hear, “I am arresting you for public urination.” Not to mention, “the shelter is full, move along!”

      What a bunch of dirty fuckers society is made up of when we have people by the millions; homeless and I’m somewhere toting a sign with the name of a dead former homeless PERSON, dead because they were homeless! Damn it to hell!! Sigh!!!!!!!


  2. I have been without permanent address in my younger years but with enough friends to rent out a couch when needed. The lack of privacy and exposure to the elements while feeling always on the outside looking in of “normal” society is a terrible way to go through life.


    • Jeff, indeed it is, indeed it is! And there are so many out there walking the streets right now or huddled in some doorway or being beaten to death. I just don’t know about anything anymore because everything is just so fucked up!

      Thank you for your comment!


      • Great points, Linda and Shelby. I suffered from clinical depression many years ago. I also feel the difference between solitude and loneliness is choice. People choose at times to isolate themselves for personal reasons, to find a place of healing or solitude.

        But when the aloneness is imposed upon you because of your differences from the “norm”, loneliness is the result along with a physical or mental health conditions. It’s one of the most frightening emotions you can experience. To feel like on a planet of seven billion people, you are all alone to face life on life’s terms.

        We owe a lot to you, Shelby, for the awareness and compassion you bring to the table.


  3. “We owe a lot to you, Shelby, for the awareness and compassion you bring to the table.”

    Thank you for that Jeff, but I am SO undeserving as I unable to ‘house’ every homeless person and it just breaks my heart. They are so beautiful, each and every one and they are the very ones who have a heart of gold. It is the heartless fucks in corporate boardrooms all across this god forsaken planet who should be in their shoes and not the poor, precious souls who are!


    • To clarify, the fact that you bring the issues of homelessness to our consciousness is tremendous. I live in Florida now but remember when I lived in PA how the shelters would fill up when winter arrived. Fun fact-my city was voted one of the meanest cities to live in because of how try treat the homeless. Police are known to tear down camps and rip up tents. Heartless behavior that mirrors the attitudes of the elite and sadly, much of mainstream America.

      Keep on keepin’ on, Shelby.


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