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.  

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Betwixt and Between

Betwixt is neither here nor there.  It is purgatory.  It is the space between.  Betwixt your sweltering sheets, I know not if we are here in this moment or somehow somewhere else.  We have somehow slipped between the defined and the meaningless, and I am unsure of how we landed somewhere so nebulous and disjointed.  The space between us is so far apart yet I lie close enough to extend my hand and trace the curve of your brow.  The shape used to be so familiar, but the recent furrows make it something I no longer recognize.  Behind closed eyes hide clouded windows that bar me access from what was once the only place I needed to look to know all of you.  Behind closed lips waits nothing, for nothing is what they now give me across the dinner table or in the hall.  Half closed hands caress the sheets more tenderly than they do me.  Somewhere between now and then, a wayward breeze did blow.

Falling back through flickering memories in time, I can see us laying cheek to check and walking arm in arm.  Harmonious steps lead us down the same path on the journey from I to us.  What is betwixt us now?   Neither here nor there.  My security slips away as your freedom from what bonds you to us dissolves.  Dissolves like baseless fabric of our days gone by.  All that was once betwixt us now covered with a brume; mistier than eyes wide shut.

Once so secure in my footing, I was sure, steady.  I walked bravely into the world, knowing you were steady at my side, had my back, and together moving forward.  Now I know not where I can place my next step.  Once aplomb,  now uncertainty wracks me.  Once whole, now broken into one.  Between the me of we and the I now foisted upon me, I dare not move.  Every step forward is one away from you.  Further into vagueness we slip, neither wholly one thing or another.  Still your direction is unmistakable.

On the edge of sleep, betwixt awake and asleep.  Betwixt my heart and the rational, between me and you; here I lie alone by your side.  I can feel you breathing; the air we share between us will soon dissipate and be lost among all the rest.  We are undefined, you are undecided, and I am on the wrong side of right.  Soon, it will be very soon, that all that is betwixt and between us will slip into that space between.  Soon all that is us will be lost among all the rest.