The world seems very large and separate and apart from my little world here and I am having trouble connecting with it. Am I really as alone as I feel? Will I ever feel the warmth of human touch, of one close to me, do I even want that? I thought not, but the older I get the more the idea of a tender companion appeals to me.
Where am I this night and why, with the snoring of the pugs all around me, that sweet sound that I love so well, does my heart ache?
I have been watching the same documentary over and over, mesmerized by it. It is about the life of writer Anne Perry and it is called Interiors. She is about 70 as it is filmed, just a few years ago. She is a best selling author with a dark past. As a girl of 15 she and her friend murdered her friend’s mother. She spent time in prison and came out a young woman, changed her name, moved to another continent, and her past was not revealed until the last decade or so after she had published some 50 or more books.
It is a mesmerizing story of a woman who has spent her life alone, haunted by her past, trying to make up for it, but unable to have a relationship because of the weight of what happened so early and those close to her talk about how lonely she is and it makes me teary, it is heartbreaking.
We are lonely for so many reasons, but whatever the cause it cuts deep. I once wrote in a book, “Loneliness eats so many holes in me I feel like a piece of swiss cheese.” And yet I felt breathtakingly lonely living with other people. Have I grown enough to make way for another?
I have craved solitude, longed for it, built a life around it, and I have learned much from it. May Sarton famously wrote, “Loneliness is the poverty of the self; solitude is the richness of the self.” But is it not possible to balance relationship and solitude? Is it possible to have both? This may be the thing that I long to learn, to know, in my later years.
I am sitting here struggling with such deep feeling, my eyes are so tired they are drifting out of focus, bile rises up in my throat and I am holding my breath, fighting back tears. Is it too late to invite love in? Could I bear it’s presence? It would have to be someone who would love me and let me love them in my imperfect way. Could someone accept this odd and strange person that I am? Sarton also wrote, “And now we who are writing women and strange monsters still search our hearts to find the difficult answers.” Must we, if we are to reach the deep well within, live alone and bear the weight of silence? Do writing women who are bipolar and struggle just to manage the days have the right to wish for love too? I think what I am coming to as I go deep in therapy again is that it is possible and it is even possible for me. The very thought makes me shiver. I don’t know enough about balance to chance it. Do I? I think in the years ahead I may find out.
For now the dogs are stirring. I need to walk with them outside, take a shower, and settle into our big recliner to watch the t.v. show that I like on Thursday night. I will carry all of these thoughts with me tucked in under my breast, hidden and secret where these things lie silently in the darkness. On this dark night I will manage as I always do, and the loneliness subsides, and I go on.