Coping

The Cure for Loneliness

water lily“The cure for loneliness is solitude.”
Marianne Moore

I’ve found myself lonely for the first time in 30 years, as my youngest child hits the world running and my husband is frequently on business travel. It’s is often just me and the pets at home. So I dream up things to do and places to go, but I am usually disappointed. When I reach the event, I am find myself alone within a group. It seems so much harsher then, watching others with their friends or lovers, while I am alone. Yet when I am actually all by myself, I am settled. My companion is my oldest friend and frequent enemy, myself. In solitude, I am at peace, centered and still.

white water lilyIt sounds good until I come to the realization that it is heartfelt connection with others that keeps me going, and that isn’t anything I can do alone. It takes at least two. And so I’m trying to figure out how to make authentic friends, socialize, and get along. In some ways it’s effortless. In others, it’s much harder than it looks. But tonight, I’m settling for a book and a dog, perhaps with a parrot on my shoulder as well. They comfort and support me. Maybe another day I will brave the chaotic world; tonight I am at peace.

fuchsia water lily

12 replies »

  1. Such good advice to your friend. The pictures are gorgeous. You do such wonderful composition. That is your calling as an artist.
    You have my sympathy for adjusting to an absent family. It does take effort. You will find your way that makes you comfortable.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Boy, I’ve got solitude down. I just moved to a foreign country where I don’t know a soul! Haha, I’ll die alone cause I’m obnoxious and annoying and nobody can stand to be around me for long. I guess I’m pretty used to solitude. 🙂

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    • Yes, I agree you do that well. But what about connection? You are wonderfully connected to the earth and her plant, animal, and insect inhabitants. If that’s enough for you, then I’m happy for you. I do that on a different scale by bringing in a bunch of pets to my home. But for me, it’s enough to get by but it isn’t quite enough for me to be happy. I thrive on meaningful work and deep human connection. So somewhere in there, people need to enter into it. That’s where it goes from easy to hard.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, and SOIMF, you are the only blogger I’ve actually met in person. And you aren’t obnoxious or annoying. You just forget that academia is a highly competitive environment full of insecure and immature students. They are not a good gauge of the full population. It’s like high school still in many ways (slackers, nerds, and cheerleaders all over again). You just need a more stable group to choose your friends from! You need to be around more farmers, engineers, and scientists to find an equal – someone who isn’t intimidated by or jealous of your Ph.D.!

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      • Haha I don’t think anybody is intimidated by me. And even my friends outside of academia find it hard to be around me much, I think. This is something I’ve learned over the past couple of years, as I’ve struggled to maintain even friendships I thought would last forever.

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        • For me, no friendship lasts forever; I change too much and so do they. Our lives change and our interests diverge. In some cases, they develop a dependence on my attention that I can’t continue (there was a huge trimming of the friend tree when I was in law school, for example). Sometimes the same happens for them. I’ve come to expect that no friendship lasts forever. And there may be a friend who was so hurt that you moved to Ireland that they sounded angry or aloof. Sometimes people are hurt when their friends leave. I’m sorry.

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