I recently came across this short little poem (I guess it's a poem) I wrote as a teenager. It was just this little thing that I remember jotting down because I was having a moment. One of those woe begone moments people in general (but especially women in their late teens or early 20's) tend to find themselves experiencing. It got me thinking. Not that that's hard to do. I tend to go off on tangents.
Anyhow, it got me thinking about the subjects of loneliness and isolation. Tennessee Williams spoke of loneliness as an affliction that followed him his entire life. I think that if we are honest we could all admit to that. It's easy to feel lonely. You can feel lonely in a large city or a rural community. There's loneliness in our single life and sometimes (often times) even in marriage. I think it's just the nature of being human that we have seasons of loneliness. I think it can also become a way of life if we are not careful. It can become the very nature of our existence if we close ourselves up and do not allow others to share our journeys.
And isn't that the real problem? Don't we all have that within us? That tendency to stay within ourselves and to shut others out? We don't have time. We are busy. Perhaps we are with other people all the time but feel our voices are silent. Maybe others just wouldn't understand us if we revealed who we really are. Perhaps no one else cares to be a part of our journey. Can't that become a fear also? Whatever the reason, there comes a day or a dark night when our loneliness closes in on us. Even if we are not alone. Even if we have family and friends and a spouse who loves us. We still might open our eyes and realize that we've not really let others in. And time has passed us and we wonder how many missed opportunities lie on the road of our journey where we could have had something sweet or special, but we didn't recognize that moment. We were too focused on our day. We even shut our spouses out at times. Why?
Life goes by fast. We don't have to be lonely. I think opening up and letting others in takes practice and it takes forethought. I think it is a DELIBERATE process of scaling back the "busy" flurry of activity our days can become and making time to know and appreciate others.
I've been guilty. But I am trying to do better.
There's a song by Kathy Mattea (ms?) that states that we are "standing knee deep in a river and dying of thirst." She's talking about how we let relationships lapse or we abort them before they are fully developed. And then we suffer with our own isolation.
Just a thought.
Anyway, here's that small little poem. A glimpse into my teen mind...and even to this day I can see where I am yet in this poem. Hmm...
Feeling the weight of my own loneliness.
Crying tears that no one else can see.
Staring through a window at a party
To which I wasn't invited.
Wondering what in the world is wrong with me.
Why do I feel this isolation?
Why does my heart beat out of sync?
Why am I different from those around me?
Like a book that no one cares to read.