What is loneliness?
Is it something we’re born with? After all, most of us come into this world alone. Is it genetic? Is it real or just an illusory state of mind? Heard of hypnosis, therapies etc. Can we get therapy to treat loneliness? “Treat”? Is it a disease? Or a disorder? Can a doctor write a prescription for 3 friends so I can get together, talk and treat this damn thing? Is it contagious? I certainly don’t want to pass this on to my next generation. They deserve to be happy and have lots of friends, after all. Are certain people predisposed? Can we prevent it? Will we ever get to fully eradicate this disease?
“Loneliness adds beauty to life. It puts a special burn on sunsets and makes night air smell better” – Henry Rollins
I’ve felt lonely even when surrounded by a group of people. For me, loneliness has been a constant companion. A bit ironic, yeah. “You are known by the company you keep”. Of course, we are. I would probably be known for being alone. Not physically, not all the time. But in my head I’m lonely.
I’m lonely because of my fears. I’m lonely because of my insecurities. I’m lonely because of my prejudices.
I’m lonely because I lack empathy. I’m lonely because I can’t share. I’m lonely because I don’t express.
There goes a saying “The saddest word is alone”. I think the most sorrowful word is “lonely” because alone doesn’t necessarily mean lonely. Loneliness is a state of mind, yes. Most definitely. You can choose to be lonely or not. You can choose to identify your barriers as a step to not being lonely.
I know my barriers. I know my shortcomings. I know what I’m good at. I know what I’m not good at. I know what I know I’m good at. I know what I don’t know I’m good at. But is just knowing enough? What can I do? What should I do? What do you think I must do?
Oh I know. Befriend my loneliness. That’s what I’ll do. I think that’s what artists do. Artists are a bunch of highly evolved creative people that have the need and urge to create something. To see something born out of their mind, out of their ideas and out of their mere existence makes them high. I think.
I say “highly-evolved” because I think most artists (if not all) are emotional creatures that guard themselves too much than they ought to. Protectiveness. Isn’t that an exclusive quality of highly-evolved creatures? Or may be I’m just rambling about myself. After all, I consider myself an artist.
Oh yes. Befriend my lurking friend. “Why, hello loneliness. You are being very nice and spending time with me when no one else wants. Sometimes I don’t want to spend time with others and just be by myself. You respect that and go away. Sometimes. Here, I am writing this article just to memorialize you. Did I say memorialize? Isn’t that mostly for the dead? I don’t wish you dead but I definitely wish you visited less often. You know, I owe you for keeping me company when nobody would, but may be, just in case, I want to try if someone would if you weren’t there.”
I think writers are lonely. Most writers are lonely most of the time, probably. At least some writers are lonely some of the time. But I’m pretty sure that any great work comes out of loneliness. Not having anyone appreciate what you have inside. Not having anyone or someone that understands your immediate need to unleash that creativity and put it to work. Not having anyone to walk with you when you walk through a fire bed just to emerge through the other end with something immortal. But I think loneliness is essential. To be a genius.
I write when I’m lonely. I write about the things that are bottled up inside. I write about the things that I couldn’t possibly speak. I couldn’t say these things because there are too many words flying inside my head clashing with each other like a busy street in Chennai. Writing is the only way I could tame them. All those words. Huh. I got you. You were spinning a nest in my head and making me more lonely each second trapping me in your web. Ha! I now have you down.
A necessary evil. A friend in need. Indeed, a rare treasure.