Sunday, October 29, 2017


The topic of being lonely came up recently. It's been on my mind quite a bit since I began writing my first book, so when I was spending time with friends and the subject was mentioned, I was already keyed in. As I sat and listened to a one explain the mental torment she's experienced since her divorce, spending years recuperating emotionally while trying to rebuild her life, I found myself nodding in agreement. Very few of us will admit to it, but when we're alone for a significant portion of time, we're pretty hard on ourselves. Heck, we're hard on ourselves a lot of the time even in flashing moments. But when we're at our absolute worst is when we're isolated for a significant amount of time.

As a life-long involuntary bachelor, believe me when I tell you, being alone can get extremely dark. In my head are many thoughts, and these swirling ideas, pictures, what ifs, and voices all bounce around and collide with each other. It becomes particularly frustrating when I'm trying to read or write because my head doesn't shut up. And when I'm trying to focus on the philosophies of life as they pertain to me, the voices are generally the ones who end up screaming the loudest. Before you sentence me to an asylum, hear me out for a minute.

Voices in our heads are nothing new or psychologically concerning. We talk or think to ourselves all the time; when we're in the car, at the grocery store, thinking about tasks at hand, in our jobs, and pretty much everywhere and about everything else. A head that's empty is no head at all. For the lonely, those same voices also become rather critical. I can't say for certain what my friend suffered, but I can tell you what my brain voice tells me: that I'll never be worthy of love from another person. Yup, straight up, I just admitted to that. I have no shame and this doesn't make me sad. It's what the stupid voice in my head tells me from time to time, and especially when I'm wondering if I'll ever find someone. I suppose years of rejection have primed this voice to be so harsh and constant, but it's there most of the time and it's hard for me to escape. Fortunately, I've turned over a new leaf in recent months and am happily in a place where I frankly don't care if anyone loves me. I'm happy to be who I am and to have what I've earned.

Regardless of this specific situation, my mind is often mired by chaos which gets louder and louder the longer I'm alone. And thanks to my current bout of singleness, that is quite often. It's as if the laws of living don't exist in my brain, and until recently, it was difficult to even explain. So imagine my surprise when I sat down to do some research for my next blog and stumbled across this mesmerizing masterpiece.

Relativity, by M.C. Escher (1898-1972), is a lithograph depicting a structure which breaks the laws of physics and is inhabited by 16 individuals. Architecturally, there isn't a place inside the building that these individuals couldn't reach, that is unless they are restricted to the orthogonal plain of gravity in which they currently reside. The entire piece is mind-blowing to conceive and conceptualize, and it is 100% a statement in design.

The definition of relativity is, "the state of being dependent for existence on or determined in nature, value, or quality by relation to something else." That's a mouthful, I know. Essentially, it means there is no universal, objective truth in the world which I find to be a bit wacky considering the glass I just dropped which fell perfectly perpendicular to the sky and not off at some unexpected angle. Philosophical argument aside, what I find this piece to better resemble is what goes on inside my head. I dare say it's probably indicative of what may go on inside your head, too.

Escher's works have long been a dorm room favorite. I can recall first seeing some of them years ago when I was in school. They fascinated me, but now that I'm older and bother doing research, many of his pieces were explorations into mathematics, design, perspective, and impossible objects. Escher was a genius so I don't know if he intended to capture the very idea of chaos so well, but in my eyes, he did. Staring at Relativity nearly gives me a headache for many good reasons. What I already know of physics and gravity wrestle with what I see thus causing several unused synapses in my brain to suddenly begin firing. Visually, I find this piece to be absolutely perfect in capturing how my mind works when I'm alone. Up is down, left is right, everything is independent while intertwined, and while there appears to be order, there isn't any order at all.

Look, loneliness is something all of us experience. My way of avoiding it is to write, read, research, and entertain myself with TV shows, games, and movies. You probably have your go-to ways as well. But in those darkest moments where the loneliness is beginning to stir up chaos inside your head, remember that you don't have to suffer through it alone. It never ceases to amaze me how many people choose to try and weather it all by themselves, but none of them have to. Family, friends, loved ones are all just a call/text/email/carrier pigeon/smoke signal/telegraph/letter away.

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