L o n e l i n e s s

image by Jonathan Pui

image by Jonathan Pui

last Monday, under a canopy of the moon’s clean blue air, a small group of brave Feelers gathered & got friendly with Loneliness. we went inside to find where our Loneliness lives & asked it questions. we practiced talking to each other without words & let our Loneliness lead. we got very up-close-&-personal with plants & ate perfect raspberries.

& what did we find? well, as any honest explorer will tell you, questions mostly yielded more questions — (& a question deeply felt can be an answer.) but we did start to suss out the edges of Loneliness, its friends & frenemies (boredom, self-doubt, authenticity), as well as its particular flavor, temperature, & shape in each of our bodies.

perhaps Loneliness is the inevitable arrow that keeps pointing to the parts of us we haven’t met yet, or can’t meet yet, or where we are waiting for & wanting a witness. it seemed to us that Loneliness may be a messenger emotion, letting us know when it is time to reach for a connection.

after closing the circle for the night, we walked outside to see the sky doing this. the moon looks like it’s all alone up there, but it is only visible because of its unwavering relationship with the sun & the earth. lessons.

in some ways, our group is just starting out on this journey of coming together to study our Loneliness (& other big emotions) through direct contact. in other ways, we’ve been doing this all of our lives.

below you will find some poetry & a playlist of music we listened to during our session together. sorry it’s mostly white guys this week. maybe they know something about Loneliness the rest of us don’t? hmm.

until next time,


The classical music station
playing hour upon hour in the apartment

the picking up and picking up
and again picking up the telephone

the syllables uttering
the old script over and over

The loneliness of the liar
living in the formal network of the lie

twisting the dials to drown the terror
beneath the unsaid word

— Adrienne Rich, cartographies of silence

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting -
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

— Mary Oliver, Wild Geese