Some days I want to be alone, to sit in the silence of my thoughts and hear the echoes of my dreams.
On other days, though, loneliness overwhelms me. Instead of relishing the silence I yearn for discussions with good friends. Instead of walking alone, and listening to the rhythm of my footsteps, I miss my friend Heidi and our long walks where we talked about everything from literature to parenting, from friendship to men, from travel to dreams, from problems to solutions.
Some days being alone is a blessing. I can dress how I want, do what I want, listen to music or not, watch television or not. I can write, I can paint, I can walk, I can think. I can clean the house (or not). I can get a sense of accomplishment (or not). I can go wherever I care to go, or simply stay home snuggled under the covers with a good book.
On other days my loneliness consumes me, making me reach for the food that is bad for me, or watch movies I have watched a million times before. Books become a defense mechanism, building an armor with other people’s words around the fact that I have no words myself. Or if I have words, nobody to share them with.
“We read your words!” Blogging friends say, and that helps defeat the loneliness, but sometimes I wish for a connection beyond the computer screen. Where are the people who have met me in person, and know me beyond the written word? Some of them read, few of them respond, so I build relationships with virtual friends through the sharing of my thoughts and stories, and yet still loneliness overtakes me.
Words alone are not enough.
I need to perfect the art of being alone.