Posts tagged ‘yapayalniz’

alone?


I’ve been thinking about loneliness lately, or more precisely, the word:  alone. It’s been on my mind because every day, across the world there are people sitting at their computers and typing A..L..O..N..E.. into google. I know this because it takes them here, to this blog. Sometimes the search term comes up as:

yapayalnız

or

وحدى

or

одиночество

and, I follow these exotic looking words to pages that translate them for me, and they all mean the same thing: loneliness or alone.

So many of us feel so alone.

So I’ve been thinking, when do I feel alone? When have I felt alone?

I felt alone when I first moved here, to a very northern part of my country, to the very northern part of the town, in the middle of winter, and I didn’t know anybody. I spent entire days walking the streets wondering where everyone else was going, wondering what everyone else was doing. One day I ordered a latte and when the cafe worker called out my name, to announce the readiness of the beverage, I almost cried because it was the first time I had heard my name said out loud in so long.

I feel alone now when I notice that I do not feel alone. I am in the middle of my tiny and bustling kitchen with children underfoot and I feel a part of something, which immediately, and infuriatingly, makes me think of what would happen to me if these family members suddenly were not in my life and how lonely I would be then.

I feel alone in the middle of the night when I am the only adult awake and I harumph and grumble so that Nathan might be woken too and I will not feel alone anymore.

I myself have written a post here on this blog that assures you, and me, that we are not alone, that we can meet here in this cyberspot and be together. But what if the truth is, we really are alone? What if we try and try to fuse ourselves together through sex, and marriage, and cults, and book clubs, and blogs, but it doesn’t work and we still go to bed each night feeling alone, not melded?

I have read that this is what this time on earth is designed for. To be separate. To feel what that is like. To learn something from that separation, from reaching across the divide, and then fold back into the Tao, the flow, the light, the heavens with greater experience and knowledge. Perhaps we come from a place that is infinite, and light, and embracing, and somehow we know this, we miss it, and we want to get back to it.

It is a mere consolation I know, but as I look at the blog stats and see so many of us searching the term “alone”, I realize that the one thing that we do not do alone is feel alone. We share that. You are not standing apart, cold, miserable and alone, while the rest of the world is full of happy, laughing folks, toasty warm and huddled together. This scene does not exist, this is only what you tell yourself. We are each alone in a happy crowd as much as on an isolated mountaintop. Aloneness is part and parcel of being human, and no one is without it in some form or another.

If it is a naturally occurring feeling, just like any other, then perhaps we can feel it just like any other. Simply feel it. See it, notice it, honor it, and that’s it. We don’t analyze ourselves when we are feeling happy. We do not give ourselves a hard time with that emotion, so why do so with loneliness? Perhaps experiencing it completely instead, is the only way back to that light and embracing place we know we came from. Or if not that profound, perhaps experiencing loneliness will allow us, at the very least, to move on to other feelings as soon as we are ready to feel those.

And, if we all feel alone, then I guess I will restate my earlier claim that, in this way, you are not really alone. You aren’t. And if you want a place where having that feeling is okay and without shame, then you have found it.

Welcome.

November 24, 2009 at 5:00 am 4 comments

not…alone

alone_with_the_alone_by_pakpao

When I was pregnant with Echo I felt really alone. Nathan would say how funny or strange that seemed since carrying another living being inside my body might be the least alone I’d ever be. But “alone” isn’t just the physical reality of being the only one in the room. I felt alone even with another human being within me. Alone is a feeling, and feelings don’t always coincide with physical realities.

More than two years later, I’m still thinking about that idea. Alone in spirit.

Echo and I rode over to Kris’ house  today and I realized that she and  I live only blocks away from each other, yet are often completely isolated from one another. She is in her house feeding, playing, and holding her children. And I am in my house feeding, playing, and holding my own. As I rode through the neighborhood I wondered how many other parents am I passing? How many of those silent houses shelter another mom or dad feeding, playing, and holding?

How many of them, though inside a crowded house, feel alone?

When I was pregnant I felt alone because the person nearest to me was not pregnant, and though he is amazing, I knew he was not feeling the same things I was. No matter how often you say “we’re” pregnant, it still isn’t true. No one can deliver that baby for you,and that can feel lonely.

What helped, at the time, was empathy from someone who had experienced something similar. It felt good when my midwife visited and told me tales of kicking her husband out of the house because she was pregnant and wildly pissed off. It felt good to go to birth class and see other bellies. It felt good to hear stories I could relate to, from people I related to.

Now I am parenting in a way that flows against the current of our culture. To parent with empathy as a foundation can be a lonely enterprise indeed, as this is not the norm. Odds are your mother-in-law (or neighbor, or  grocery clerk) thinks you are crazy, your own mother may feel these choices are a direct attack on her parenting, and nine out of ten parents at a birthday party do not parent as you do.

Today, even more than when I was pregnant, I need people I relate to, to hear me, and share with me. I need to cross the divide, to make it the few blocks to my friend’s house, and hear her talk. I need the simple text that reconnects me. I need lifelines that keep me from being alone in the crowded room.

I’m not sure where I’m going with this. I only know that if I feel this then someone else might feel it too. And if they do feel this way, it might help to read these words late at night while their children sleep. I am reaching across the divide.

October 27, 2009 at 5:00 am 5 comments


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