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From Tilly, Wed, 17th Oct, 2012:

“Loneliness is an unpleasant feeling in which a person feels a strong sense of emptiness and solitude resulting from inadequate social relationships. Loneliness is a natural phenomenon, since humans are social creatures by nature.[1] Loneliness has also been described as social pain — a psychological mechanism meant to alert an individual of isolation and motivate her/him to seek social connections.[2]

In London, surrounded by friends, family – loved ones I have at times felt intense loneliness, a deep sense that I am lost and no one knows me, not even myself. Maybe that is part of the reason why I didn’t wan tot return home, wanted to miss my flight, and step of the deep end in a city where I had no connections. I wanted to see what reserves I had, discover what stuff I was made of – I expected loneliness, wanted to feel it where it would be acceptable – in a city with no friends, no home, no job – there it would make sense to feel lonely and I could grapple with it and tie it down and release it. But the loneliness smiled, hovered above my head and dissipated. How could it be that (xx miles) so far from everyone I now had a sense of peace, sense of self, sense of discovery, sense of kinship with my friends and family that when in the midst of I felt cut off from? I’ve made new friends, spent nights and days by myself floating down streets, exploring feeling free – don’t get me wrong I’ve had days of wanting to talk, see, touch people missed back home and days of feeling sad but somehow loneliness has avoided me.  Why? Maybe because I wanted solitude and had no expectations, maybe its because Venice beach doesn’t permit you to feel lonely. Do you feel lonely because you expect people to behave in a certain way and when they don’t you feel let down and then loneliness creeps in…..? Sometimes for me loneliness is a heavyweight thudding my chest and other times a butterfly kiss upon my cheek – so I’m not quite sure what, how or why it manifests I just know that to be lonely isn’t always bad and this round me and loneliness have connected.

My response:

Butterfly kiss. She doens’t know that my worst nightmare is to be taken through a butterfly house.

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