The strange paradox of loneliness

I’ve just had my mind blown and I’d like to share it with you (stranger). It’s properly out of whack.

I’ve not felt lonely for uncountable years. I remember it and how I made peace with it and it was a vast relief because it really is bloody awful to us hoomans. Loneliness is a horrible pain that we naturally (I think) run away from, to the only real place of ease, the company of others.

Forgive me for using the religious term for the meeting of people – ‘fellowship’, it does exactly what it says on the tin, which is handy just now.

It’s odd because the act of fellowship is the act of meeting people who we are, in fact, always entirely separate from. It would kind of make better intuitive sense if we wanted, not the enforced separation we have with each other, but with our own selves whose thoughts we are most intimately connected with. But that’s the very thing we don’t want. We want the company of a stranger. Is that not a paradox of Herculean proportions?

I have to say it’s blown my mind.

Tonight I was hungry for the presence of a stranger. That is astonishing – to discover the thing I wanted and would draw comfort from is the company of an unknown person who, in fact, I am entirely separate from and entirely blind to their inner thoughts, just as they are from mine.


KOG. 29 July 2020.

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