Loneliness is like waking up in the deep, encompassing darkness of a cave. It’s the first moment your eyes tell your mind what blackness is. It’s the millisecond of time you feel your pupils dilate, attempting to adjust to an unfamiliar endless hole of space. It’s the questions that invade your mind in hopes to grab hold of something tangible, comfortable, understandable. It’s the painful, confusing, frustrating noise of nothingness. It lures you back to sleep, to a place where your mind and heart grab hold of your body and persuade it that there is light, color, energy, warmth. That the darkness is now lit and the nothingness filled with comfort. But reality pries your eyes open, shakes your body awake, and watches as your heart pumps ever so quickly to find peace in that which surrounds you.
There is solace though. In the tiny ray of light that flickers from afar. The nod of a head from the man who’s lost his legs. The flicker beats faster. You clench the life of the pulsating glimmer of hope, forcing your eyelids to ignore the impulse. A baby’s laughter that sounds too familiar to be true. The air fills with the sweet sound of humanity. Garlic roasting in every corner of the cave. Your nose twitches momentarily before you take a deep breath in, the pungent taste wets your tongue as you swallow hard, still holding on to the white light in the distance.
You begin to fill the darkness with pieces of you and pieces of them. The nondescript objects find new purpose in this unknown place, shed of that which makes sense- replaced by that which just is. You find energy from others in the light which comes from within. You teach yourself the language of people, of humans, that allows you to understand and guide each other down the rickety paths of life.
The loneliness pushes you to reevaluate, recalibrate, redefine. It forces you out from your cocoon, to see the world in a new way, from a different perspective, as a humbled being. You step cautiously, one foot after the other, tip toe, careful to see what breaks, what hurts, what soothes, and what comforts. Your hands fumble about, searching for stability, as they are met with the warmth of anothers’ hands. Your body relaxes as you begin to let them in, let yourself out, and let it all crumble into a timeless recreation of Renoir.
Loneliness, once shed of its connotation and its reputation, is beautiful. It is the solitude, the oneness, the solidarity with the world, that engulfs you and addicts you to its painful bliss. It gives you the time to feel yourself, the space to understand your life, and an unadulterated mirror to question everything. It is the unraveling of truth under all the layers of a wrapped up life.

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