Saturday, 27 April 2013

A Confession of Momentary Loneliness -- and the Remedy of Art

Yesterday afternoon after I taught my last class for the week, 19th Century English Poetry--we are currently covering Lord Byron--I was suddenly overcome with loneliness. It is a queer feeling and is a bit like a headache for me, which is another sensation I very seldom experience. And that is the problem with both loneliness and headaches; because I so seldom feel these phenomena, they feel extra acute when I do experience them. I very seldom feel lonely. I'm usually too busy, to be honest. My life is filled with so many things, that there is hardly the time to be lonely. Then, there are also many people in my life. I am richly blessed with friendships, although many of my closest friends are not close at hand. Another reason I don't experience loneliness much is because I actually enjoy alone-time. I am an introvert. Many people are surprised when I tell them this, because I'm not shy and love meeting people, yet I'm an introvert in the sense that I recharge alone and have a need for lone-time. I think part of the reason I've been quite content not being married yet is because I really do enjoy my time alone.

So when a sudden bout of loneliness strikes, it is often a shocking sensation and it sometimes take me a while to figure out what it is I'm feeling. What I felt yesterday was a sense of loss and loneliness; something that the mere presence of people--just any ol' people--would not have been able to fill. I realized my longing for company yesterday when I headed off to go watch a movie. Unlike most people who cannot imagine going to the movies alone, I actually prefer watching movies alone. For me, watching a movie is not a social event. It is not as if we are going to the cinema to have a conversation. In fact, I often find watching movies with friends distracting. I really love watching movies, and sincerely go for the movie itself, and therefore watching a movie by myself is actually one of the things I enjoy doing. It is something I started to do from a very early age, and have always felt quite comfortable in doing so. Yet yesterday, I really did not want to go to the movies by myself--this then, was the cue for me that I'm having an "attack" of loneliness.

Nevertheless, I was on my way to see Iron Man 3 when a friend texted me to tell me of a small show of hers being played at an art festival. She is a theater director and often invites me to her shows. Not one to give up on free shows I quickly changed my plans from going to a cinema to going to an art festival.

While I enjoyed my friend's production, it was the dance performance afterwards that really did it for me. I've noted before how dance--bodies in motion--has an uplifting effect on me. One particular show I saw last year had an almost life-changing effect on me. The art festival yesterday (which continues the whole weekend) was just what the Doctor ordered. I reveled in the sounds and movements and images and could hardly sit still in my chair. I just wanted to jump up and move along with them. It was wonderful. Walking back to the subway station I saw beauty where ever I looked and took photos with my phone as far as I walked. Below are some of the photos I took. (The collage above is also something I made from the pictures I took yesterday.)

I can't say that my sense of loneliness has completely parted, but it is not as acrid as it was yesterday. In fact, it is a Saturday night and instead of going out I'm actually planning to stay in and relax, watching the final episode of the Lord of the Rings trilogy which I started re-watching two weeks ago. In any case, tomorrow will be a full day with people around me.

"Korean Wave"

"The Mermaid's Palace"



"Holding on to Dreams"



"Open Door Policy" 

"The Green Witch and Her Apprentice"


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