I started a book last night, “The Abnormal Personality Through Literature” (edited by Alan A. Stone and Sue Smart Stone). I sort of have a affinity for the subject matter… you would understand if you could live in my head at any given moment… from giddy child-like joy to paranoia and all in-between, hourly sometimes, gee whiz.
(I wish I were a better writer so that I could better express myself here… please bear with me.)
Anyway, last night I read this passage from Jean Stafford’s “Beatrice Trueblood’s Story,” where Beatrice is discussing with a friend (through written notes) the fact that she “elected” to suddenly become deaf:
I wanted terribly to marry him—I don’t suppose I loved him much but he seemed good, seemed safe. But all of a sudden I thought, I cannot and I will not listen to another word. And now I’m sorry because I’m so lonely here, inside my skull. Not hearing makes one helplessly egocentric.
(I’m feeling a bit exposed right now, but I’ll soldier on…)
Right now my life is, like Beatrice’s, too much inside my head. I live in a very small town and have no close friends here. I work from home and, except for a daily walk and a visit to the grocery store or bank, I pretty much only see these four walls day in and day out. I rarely even see anyone on the walks!
I am isolated (and I have isolated myself, as well).
The internet helps. Phone calls to friends help. (And traveling to shows and conferences helps IMMENSELY!)
I can’t explain clearly why this passage spoke to me so strongly, but I know it is true for me right now. People need other people to help keep them grounded in reality, I think. If one is healthy emotionally, other people can act as sandpaper on wood, smoothing out the rough spots and helping shape one into the shape they were meant to be
I would like to put more sandpaper into my daily life.
(Am I making ANY sense?)
Kasie@~The Art of Life~ said:
Yes!! You’re making a lot of sense. I’m an artist and Mom of 2 young ones and I understand completely what you’re trying to say.
Kim H said:
Oh I understand you so much! Great piece today too!
Pingback: DeafPulse.com - the one-stop pulse for all Deaf-related news and blogs.
now I know I’m not the only one who rides these internal roller coasters. Infact, I know that anyway but it can be so difficult to articulate these internal goings on that I suppose most folk just don’t. So thanks for sharing, you have definitely been a bit of well needed sandpaper for me today.
i so understand this…and sometimes my world becomes very small…everything within reach of my hands…surrounded with isolation…i did a recent post about my isolation as of late…those of us who are in this situation should reach out to support each other…know that i am here for you when and if you ever need someone to talk to…call my 800 number 800-331-7941 if you need to talk…i am a great listener…hugs, rebecca
You make perfect sense. Our lives are in parallel universes (sort of). Did you paint that image? It’s brilliant.
liz elayne said:
this resonates with me my friend…i spend a lot of time alone and sometimes feel like i am forgetting myself a bit because of this…sometimes almost wanting to feel lonely i think.
i tried to kind of articulate bits of this in my post about artfest…how spending time with people reminds me of who i am…
i so look forward to when we can call one another and say, “let’s meet for tea this afternoon…” that will be such a gift.
Miss Dot said:
plenty! really, you can be in a city full of people and still be alone. I also work from home but meet up with a group of people every day in the park to run our dogs around like mad things. Some days I don’t want to go, I just want to be alone. It isn’t about the people around you or not around you. Now I wonder if I am making any sense? just hang in there. Have you ever tried EFT? http://galadarling.com/article/eft
I find it really helpful when I am just too “inside” my head. What have you got to lose. 🙂 be well my sweets!
Paula Weston said:
While I’m your classic extrovert, I still understand exactly what you’re talking about (and I think you expressed yourself beautifully). I have a very busy internal life – in fact one of my regular challenges to myself is to find the space to quiet the constant thinking in my head.
I find it really interesting how much of how we feel about ourselves is related to how we interact with other people … the way their perceive us and respond to us often shapes our own self image.
It’s a lot of hard work to create that for yourself every day without a variety of human interactions – except for those wonderfully enlightened souls who are very grounded in who they are and what their place in the world is.
yes, total sense! your life paralells mine in so many ways, i’m tempted to say every way but i know that wouldn’t be accurate either. the self-created isolation, the mood swings, the longing for connection from kindred souls. i too get that only through my friends i have met online – either virtually or when we meet up at the retreats; i think i’d wither up and die without that contact. but on the other hand, too much of it and i can’t “plumb the depths”…the eternal quest for balance.
yes, absolutely makes sense. And the part about the small town, no local friends, too much talking in my own head- oh yes.
You make absolute sense… I am in the same boat!
Fran Meneley said:
Hi Carla – Thank you for such an honest post. I hope all these comments bring you some comfort. Not only is it a human condition, this knocking around in your own head thing, I think it’s especially true for artists. I know it is for me. Here’s the rub: we have to go inside to hear the voice that leads us to what we do….and then it just won’t shut up! So rubbing up against other people really does help us get out of our heads and back into the world. You are not alone. And your honesty helps me realize I’m not either. Thanks. And BTW, your work is looking so beautiful. Love the fiber owls too. They have such an imprint of your style. Fantastic! Your studio looks wonderful too. Take care! Fran
Thank you for the tip about that book! I’m on my way over to amazon right this minute. Sounds like we are on the same — er, wavelength!
Jane in MA
We should talk more. Or at least some. I am lonely in my big world, too. It seems to be a universal issue no matter where you live, sometimes we just don’t have the kinds of people-connections we crave.
ANd it’s not just because I live on an island or that my world revolves around the church and being pastor’s wife. I think at mid-life, we start to realize things that we passed off as trivial when we were 30 are really vital to our very beings.
I envy your life in a small town, quiet, unhurried because my life is constant motion, noise and I can’t go anywhere unless I get on the stupid freeway. odd how we seem to desire what we don’t have. Write to me.
your sister in law
Thank you for all of the wonderful comments, everyone! None of us should feel alone… we’re all in this together…