There’s a saying in my family: “Crazy as a rat in a can.” I think someone’s worried that I really do read things to the houseplants, judging from yesterday’s comment about “the rat getting closer to the can”. And while I believe houseplants thrive from lots of attention, which may or may not include some verbalization, that is not the point here.

The point is that, much to my own surprise, I enjoy living alone. And I have some Roethke to quote about it! (From “Her Becoming,” in Words to the Wind, 1958.)

Ask all the mice who caper in the straw –
I am benign in my own company.
A shape without a shade, or almost none,
I hum in pure vibration, like a saw.
The grandeur of a crazy one alone! –
By swoops of bird, by leaps of fish I live.
My shadow steadies in a shifting stream;
I live in air; the long light is my home;
I dare caress the stones, the field my friend;
A light wind rises: I become the wind.

This has probably only confirmed my craziness to the anonymous relative (Alan!), but “I am benign in my own company” captures pretty exactly how I feel.