Reacquainting Myself With Isolation

Dear Loneliness,

I write you this letter in reply to your interest in my life.  I can see by your desperation that inserting yourself in my life would bring you some sense of success.  I have to say; in that regard, I am in no way in need of your services.  Thank you for applying and good luck in your search for companionship.  I think you will find that most contacts will avoid the likes of you with their own brand of resistance.  Just a heads up.

-Your past,

Jeremiah (A Wandering Poet)

The above letter was dusted off the long-forgotten memories of my youth.  I reread it this morning over some breakfast and maté and realized something profound.

Loneliness never stopped writing me.

Armed with the fact that I have a loving family around me; Wife, 2 boys, my Dad, and one of my sisters, loneliness has no chance with me.  Yet I feel the tug of some familiar string.  I can not escape the reality around me.  As I surround myself with loved ones over the years, I am at the same time warding off the ever-persistant loneliness.  I have won, for the most part every brush with it with I can remember.  But why it never ceases is a mystery.

Recently though, loneliness’ cousin, isolation has come around knockin’.  At first it was a few moments here and there – postcards really – of times when I wanted to be left alone or needed some breathing space.  Those times were mere haikus in the grand poetry of my life, and in no way presented like those lonely letters all those years ago.  I thought little of them.  Until about a year ago.  Life had a way of slipping me a bit of isolation without me knowing or without my consent.  I guess it started with the loss of a dear friend of mine.  Grief has a serious affect on people.  Different in all of us, but with me it was quiet and subtle.  Like early-stage cancer.  So with the passing of an up-until-then standard and reliable aspect of my friendships, all the dominoes seemed to fall after that.  The childhood friends that I had maintained fell to the wayside with little fight or minimal complaint by my peers.  I tried to write them and explain that our time together was still important, but either life got in the way, or isolation was a key figure in the grand scheme of things.

I gave up on flaky letters of non-committal poetry. I was getting tired of things falling through.  Every time.  I retreated within my comfort zone.  My wife and kids.  That is what I knew to be there all the time.  A warm feeling of togetherness and family that pervaded everything I did.  It was nice.  For awhile.  I noticed that the few opportunities that crept up were either last-minute and therefore undoable, or that I created a safe-haven of isolation around my time and space, allowing select few to get through.  Not good.

I do not know what is to be done, as I am still in the throws of it all.  On one hand I have the companionship of a lovely woman and the (hopeful) adoration of two amazing boys.  On the other rests the reality of life – reaching out to those that you put aside.  I will get there –  and reintegrate them into my life.  Until then, I must accept that I am isolated.  Isolated from extending myself too far.

I need to wake my mind up, spiritualize my thoughts and re-imagine the future of myself.

*sat in front of this computer for roughly 20 minutes with nothing to add*

I guess I will end with a poem of sorts.

(Funny that my wife is not a fan of poetry …oh well.)

Isolation will fade

as loneliness drowns

in the circle of friends

that entrench around you

protect you from wild desolation

see you through

tough times

bring you back

into the fold if lost.

Isolation!

hold hands with loneliness

and do yourselves a favor

and fade away to black.

Inspired by:

“If I could through myself
Set your spirit free
I’d lead your heart away
See you break, break away
Into the light
And to the day

To let it go
And so to fade away
To let it go
And so fade away”

-Bono, U2.

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