A writer I admire asked her students to write about loneliness and our relationship to our own lonely states. It has had me thinking for days. Here’s what I wrote.
My loneliness has been trying to get my attention since infancy. She was the one who said, “Rest baby. Just sleep,” she was a fairy god mother showing me how to take refuge in the sub-conscious.
Loneliness made me seek out comedy which I adored. I memorized SNL skits, Steve Martin albums and admired Burt on Soap who thought he was invisible when he moved his arms just so.
My loneliness was a magnet that flung pens into my hand so I would write in my journal. I learned early that writing truthfully would lighten my load and my life even if I was writing about heavy topics or melancholy.
My loneliness let me find the soft fur of animals who I would pet, feed and play with as early as I can remember. Bread and pasta would also be used to sand down the edges of raw emotion. It would take time before I would stop covering over the broken glass with towels before learning it is wiser to get a broom and risk nicked fingertips rather than walking timidly on the planet.
I love my loneliness and her patience. She courted me, guided me and looked out for me. In loneliness I have read, sculpted, collaged, rested under blankets in front of t.v., eaten too much and written. I have listened to music, books on tape, stared at the ocean and up at the moving shapes of clouds. Loneliness is a reliable and mostly gentle companion who only serves to soothe and welcome and mother. Sometimes she tries too hard to make me feel better and I love her for that excess as well.
Loneliness is only a shy introvert more comfortable at home than at a party. She’s not stuck up or aloof, only appears that way until you get to know her. Like tears, which I resist, and always feel better for afterwards, loneliness is a door. She’s loyal, loving and only looking for my full attention. Once I give it, she opens the door all of the way and inspiration follows.