Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Talk To Me

What a lovely surprise to finally discover how unlovely being alone can be.

Ellen Burstyn
Hello Stuart
My God, I need a friend !! (Oh, I said that already.)

Being alone is not just a matter of not having someone else around.

I have a room with music playing (Tannhauser at the moment), a couple of comfortable chairs and three windows. I have another room with a very large sofa, a table, a chair and two windows. I have a big kitchen with a table to sit around and three more windows. I have a nice big porch with a table and chairs, not much of a view but there is a wind chime and usually a refreshing breeze. I have a library of books and paintings spread out all over. I am all set up to receive visitors.

My apartment is a mess. The bed isn't made, there's stuff on the chairs, the books are stacked up in no particular order, there are paintings blocking some of the windows, the living room table is covered with litter, the kitchen table is pushed against the wall, the dishes aren't washed and I hardly ever go out on the porch. Why? Because no one visits me.

MY one friend Linda lives several towns away. Sometimes its weeks before I see her, and then it's usually business, not a social call.

I live alone, and sometimes I am alone. I'm not alone when I'm writing, like right now. But after I"ve written and edited this, I will put it on the "mail waiting to be sent" file where it will sit (until it's time to post it). And then my aloneness will echo from the walls.

I live in a world of ideas, but the ideas only go one way, out.

I read other people's journals and I get the same feeling, an attempt to communicate out to a nameless void, ideas going out from an aloneness. There is no doubt the Internet is a great boon for the human race, but its bad side is the abatement of real conversation. Some of my best memories are those times in the theatre when cast and crew get together between performances or on a break and converse. I miss that very much.

Where are the discussions? In school everything is computerized. In church one guy does all the talking. In Congress they just insult each other. In city council people talk just to hear themselves. TV interviews are just questions and answers.

I will never forget a discussion I had one evening about the creative process with three other artists. I spoke only English, one woman spoke English and Greek, one woman spoke Greek and French and the other man only spoke French. Everything had to be said 2 or 3 times. Those ideas got a real workout and I came away from it with knowledge.

Are people afraid of ideas, afraid of expressing them, afraid of having their ideas challenged, or accepted and improved on, or put with another idea creating a third one?

It's unlovely and unhealthy for a person to chew on his own thoughts all day simply because he is alone. Fortunately I have books to challenge and improve my thinking. They are filled with ideas, but I have no one to discuss them with.

Maybe I'll just play solitaire.
DB - Vagabond
Never give up.


Geo. said...

DB, First off, I'm a guy and you know how unempathetic we can be. Second, I have my own problems --if you follow "Invalid's Workshop"-- that require constant healing. It's like the story my southern uncle used to tell about my great grampa getting captured in the Civil War. Union soldier found him wounded, half-naked, 3/4 starved in the woods and said, "Well, now I got you!" To which grampa replied,"Yep, and a helluva get you got!"

That being said, for purposes of discussion over 2000 miles, I'll be your friend myself.

Jon said...

You've hit the proverbial nail on the head with this one. My isolation here in Texas is profound. My neighbors wouldn't look twice if I died in the street. I have a hard time trying to relate to anyone here.

I write merely to convince myself that I'm still alive - - but my writing is merely a cry in the wilderness. I seldom fill my blog with deeply personal problems. It would be far too depressing. People read my stuff, they care, but what can they do? They have enough of their own problems.

We definitely live in a world which is largely devoid of personal interaction. Everything is computerized. The art of conversation is dead. Young people don't know how to speak properly or read books or have meaningful discussions. People walk on egg shells with the fear that they will "offend" someone. Everyone is sensitive about all the wrong things.

I'm rambling, as usual, but I agree with what you have to say.

Arlene (AJ) said...

It seems we live in a different time now then when I grew up and people were friendly, neighbors checked on each other and cared about it seems everyone is so darn busy with day to day life stuff they have no time for anyone....really sad. The computer and all the new technology available is a plus, but not when it makes you forget that there is more to life then the computer, etc. Thankfully, we live in a really caring community and are blessed to have neighbors who care about each other....we're indeed lucky over here, we're all always watching out for each other and keeping in touch always.