Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Art of Loneliness

The quiet is so loud it rings in my ears.  Roaring with its nothingness.  Alone in my home, the rest of the world slumbers beneath heavy lids.  Solitary as most my nights are.  Tonight the barrage of campy TV shows, gripping tales between the covers of my latest book, or tours of never-ending internet entertainment cannot distract me from the enfolding shadows of my soul's complaint.

Loneliness lives there.  The feeling washes over me; unpleasant, pervasive, oppressive.  Lately it is with me whether apart in my own space or amid the world that swirls around me in a tumultuous rush.  It is the world's oldest inexplicable paradox.  I am never alone; I'm alone all the time.

Fatalistic existentialism espouse that this is my natural state.  Alone I emerge into this world and all others merely walk beside me for a short time, then inevitably I am slated to die alone.  Making loneliness a universal human condition along with such doozies as each of our own search for the meaning of life and Pandora's own albatross.  So in short, feeling lonely?  Join the club.

Omnipresent as a rule for humanity yet transient at a personal level.  Repeated bouts have allowed me to perfect the art of loneliness.  This stint I find myself muddling through the small series of questions.  Did distance make the heart grow weak?  Does my echo still live inside of him like his does inside of me?  Were we broke from the start?

Knowing my own fatal flaw should make the solution obvious, the salve easy to obtain, yet it eludes me.  I suffer from the over-reach, the burden of trying to hard, the bane of an uncontrollable heart.  I care with a blunt force.  Unbidden I assume all the heavy lifting, take on all the work, make myself submissive to the other's perceived needs.  It has been affectionately referred to as smothering.  

In an attempt to alleviate my own loneliness I seek intimacy by my ability to be vulnerable.  Not many are desperate enough to stand this close to another soul defenseless and without guile.  I have no walls to keep my heart safe, only a door that is either open or shut.  Lying bare before you, I cannot toughen my skin.  I seem incapable of become calloused.  I know not how to care less.  I don't know how to give less of a fuck.  In the end I am either crushed beneath the boot that trods on me or am pushed away until the distance dissolves all that is us.  A deep need for anything from other people will always make us easy pickings.

There is a stigma in the admission of loneliness.  It makes people feel uncomfortable because they become acutely aware that they themselves are not filling your need.  I do not think that is necessary.  My admission of loneliness is not a form of self-hatred or self-pity.  It is simply putting words to that which we all feel.  It is the feeling of quietness that settles over you at night.   It is the cutting absence of comfort.  It is the pain of disconnection.  For me it is when I have no one to care for, no on to provide for, when I am just left with me. 

Maybe I will never know the answers to the questions set forth in my self reflection.  Maybe I will never be cured of my glaring defect.  But I do know this, that this too shall pass.  Loneliness for me is always a transient state.  It sets up shop inside my chest one day and then just as suddenly as it came it flits away, ephemeral as a spring butterfly.  One can even hope that one day I will no longer be even a temporary host for this poignant haunting.  


  1. I'm never alone
    I'm alone all the time
    Are you at one
    or do you lie?
    We live in a wheel
    where everyone steals
    but when we rise it's like strawberry fields

    1. I haven't heard Bush's song Glycerine in a long time!!

  2. You write very well. This is very touching.

  3. You are true to yourself and I like writers like you.
    But know one thing which perhaps you have not known yet.
    There is a God-shaped hole in your heart which He can fill perfectly. Afterwards you will sing love songs for Him and you'll no more remember your loneliness. It will be just like a bad dream. Trust me, I dare to say this from my experience

  4. There are differences in the needs and wants of people as there are differences in the colors of flowers. Some seek repose in the faith of everlasting, while others need the assurance of afterlife. But as they are them, we are us. We are not in need of after or infinity, we are in need of now and forever. For some solace is found in beginnings and ends, but it's the betwixt that they want. It is betwixt that we need.