I’m not becoming a hermit, but I recognize I’m becoming more selectively social. Hiding out more, more often, and finding it more peaceful than lonely. Not that I’m not lonely, but I see the difference more clearly every day.
My calendar says I’m seeing this from an older-guy perspective.
So why do I feel younger when I have these thoughts?
I do not see Kerouac or Hemingway as heroic figures nor necessarily love their writing over others, but their isolation in their writing is worth noting. Most writers, I’ve learned, did their best work in isolation – not just isolated for a while each day, but completely disconnected from everyone normally in their orbit.
Maybe that is required, to write good fiction one must disconnect from one’s reality for a while and set some distance from ‘where you are’ to write about ‘how you are’.
I am not certain, but I find myself wondering about it.
Spending time alone a lot is, as you might expect, lonely. I don’t know if it is for everyone but it is for me. I’ve tried to differentiate in my mind if there are ‘kinds of lonely’. Lonely for intelligent conversation. Lonely for someone to ‘do things with’ so I’m not doing them alone or avoiding them altogether because they are things I don’t like to do alone or things that cannot be done alone. Lonely for specific people – some individuals, sometimes the whole group – I’m involved with in some way.
Lonely for love. Lonely for companionship. Lonely for sex. Lonely for support. Lonely for touch. I find my feeling lonely is frequently flitting – because at the same time I wonder about what I’m doing at the moment (i.e., writing this piece, cooking something, reading the paper, organizing some work things or taking a long soak in the tub) are things I do want to do alone without interference from or obligation to anyone else. Which is not to say I don’t often want company doing those things, because I do. But also I relish aloneness within them more than I readily admit.
I’ve found my volleys between work and play vary as much as my point of view – minute by minute, day to day, year over year …
Mark, Very touching and one of your best pieces. Sad time for you but that is the sign of a great friendship, DA, Toronto, ON
So powerful!! Thank you for sharing, and letting me remember, DM, Calgary, AB
This is a good one. Sorry for the loss of your friend, MK, Calgary, AB
Very well said Mark. I am sorry for the loss that is approaching if not already here. I spoke with Barry on many occasions and knew him for years but did not have anything close to the relationship you developed, RT, Vancouver, BC
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