Hello, Stephen Fry. Yes, I know exactly what you are talking about - being lonely, and yes, it is fascinating, isn’t it? After all, how can it be true that one has plenty of company and wants nothing more than to be left alone to rummage around in one’s own thoughts even though one knows perfectly well that this is a dead-end?
I suppose one can love the paradox and it is an astonishing state of affairs that I can not go alone where I wish to wind up, because alone is not where I wish to wind up. However, the only way to see the path I must follow to get where I wish to go is to look for it when I am alone.
Is this is why being alone when I am writing or creating is wonderful? Creation is the act of searching for that path. The one that goes where I want to wind up. And is this equally why being alone is so frightening and devastatingly lonely when I am not creating? Because I know that she who does not search may also not find?
It boils down to this: I want to be left alone, until I don’t want that anymore, then I want to cross paths with friends, to touch and connect before I shoot out the other end wanting to be left alone again. Come to think of it, it is not even that I must be left alone per se, but I must surely and clearly be left to my own devices.
In a typical stab at understanding, I took it into my head to mix media and to see what would happen if I were to diagram those needs along a timeline.
For each of them I took a pen - that was then two pens. I started from a point, my moment of hesitation, of indecision. I drew the my wish to be left alone and my proximity to other people as lines that lead away from one another until, no wait, now they are drawing back towards one another at a point horizontal to touch at the point of their birth. Then passing through it they move away again, before searching for companionship again they curve back.
When I finished it made me smile. It looked like the symbol of Infinity. I am off the hook. I can’t fight, understand or change Infinity, bless its heart. I can only accept and embrace it. Now I am free to go and I’m off with my journal and seven different colored pens for a gelato in the hopes this reverent act of appreciating Summer will summon warm weather.