Thursday, July 8, 2010

It is the puerile age where we again become adolescents

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?

What we choose to forget is that we aren't that other person anymore. We have evolved. Yet, how tempting when someone comes along who sees us as "we used to be." Who can resist that?

Perhaps we don't see the red flag. Perhaps we choose not to see it. Waving wildly above the frantic sea. We get in the boat with an attractive stranger and paddle out. Toward the vortex. Why? Why do we even get in the boat?

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...

JCK would like to dedicate this to all those who feel lost at sea. You are not alone. And to her husband, who always keeps a lifeboat handy.
Painting "The Last Ride" by Chuck Gumpert.

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  1. I am dying to know the back story that inspired this post.

    I have to say that I think one really great thing about having married my high school sweetheart is that, to each other, we are always a little bit 17.

  2. Jesus, Jennifer, that is brilliant. Are you writing your novel or what?

    So glad you stopped by. I will email you later.

  3. Very thoughtful. Hope all is well.

  4. Like Jenn, I would like to know what inspired this post? What's going on? If you need to talk, you know where to find me. I've been feeling very lonely myself lately.

  5. The painting is quite wonderful.

    But I, too, am wondering what's going on. Your last several posts have been loaded with unsaid issues.

    I hope you are all right.

  6. I am currently working on building a great big wall. I think the middle years are for tearing down walls when you need to, and building them up when you realize they really need to be built.

    I just love you.

  7. You are amazing! Anyways, Nice post!

  8. Pictures can be converted to canvas prints and in this way they can be conserved for long time. Such canvas prints can also be gifted to friends.


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