We erect walls around ourselves. Each year they grow higher. An illusory protection. But, there is always that day. The day when the walls come tumbling down, because we realize that we've been holding them up...alone.
Loneliness. All of us experience it. Sooner or later, it arrives on our doorstep. Creeping in like a cold, wet fog or slamming into us unexpectedly, the burden and weight of it boring deeply into our core.
When we are young, we assuage our loneliness with things easily obtained. Seeking the warmth of our parents' bed, stuffing ourselves with anything sweet... Later we slide into a drink, or find our own version of Ecstasy - our limbs wrapping greedily around a lover... and man-made concoctions dissolving on our tongues.
Middle age. It is the puerile age where we again become adolescents. Because we see that there IS an end. And we're half-way around that final block. Yet, we continue to eat from the bountiful plate of denial. And we are scared. Shitless.
Loneliness knocks perhaps loudest now. What do we do? How can this be? It seems a wicked, noxious beast...a cruel joke, to feel loneliness when our lives are seemingly full with family and friends. Yet, needs change. Now we look in the mirror and perform a pas de deux of avoidance with the stranger looking back at us.
Who are you? And what have you done with me?
Because if we don't feel alive again, we will die? Because the loneliness of not getting in that boat, turning our back on the adventure that beckons... and walking back home is too painful to contemplate.
Why don't we reach out and take the hand of a friend? We can't. The risk is too great that others will view us as broken, unsure...weak. Instead, we experience both the fear and the conceit that no one else can possibly feel like we do. So, we paddle alone, battling waves that grow increasingly larger and harder to manage. Until we...capsize.
If we're lucky, we make it back to shore without drowning. But, sometimes others are left to clean-up the wreckage on the beach...