Opinion: Alone

You came alone and you will go alone. I don't know who said it, yet, these are words that are often on repeat inside my head. I tell people that I believe I'm likely to die alone. They laugh. But I do believe it. I believe that no matter how many people we come to know and love, no matter how many beautiful people we form attachments with, we are always alone, in regard to other human beings and things.  In the sense that it is always our point of view -- despite the several influences, it is still our take on things. It is our 'feelings,' it is our thoughts. There is always 'I' attached to these emotions that create these bonds. This 'I' is always singular. In we, there is two or more I's united by a common idea or feeling or whatever. But are they ever one? In a we where there are only two I's, for instance, without one I, it equal's I. Hence 'we' is only possible when there is a "plus sign" to join the I's. It is never a new I where two or more wholes meshes into a new individual.

This makes me believe that loneliness is a state of mind. You know that feeling when you feel so 'alone' in a room full of people, but as soon as you get out of there, you lose that feeling of not belonging; the stench of isolation is chased away. Perhaps it is because we've always been our own best friends. Perhaps there is nothing wrong with being by ourselves because we are forever so, even when we are with others. Perhaps the others that make us a 'we' are there to help us become a stronger I.  To teach us to know ourselves; know when we don't belong.  Perhaps it is not meant to make us feel that without others we are not enough, but to show us how we are happy without others; in that we are connected in our difference.

It is a great thing to meet people, to listen to people, to talk to people.  It seems that we need this. We carry their conversations, their laughters, their fears, the things they love with us. So when they are not there, they are still there. Not because we have meshed into the same stream of being with them, but perhaps because we have gotten to know difference or a familiarity outside ourselves.  For this reason, it is important that the others that we associate with are those that can teach us something. Yes, they will take from us, but in return they will give to us——they will only be with us if they can take from us.

The need to interact with others is not to keep loneliness away, but perhaps to understand that we are all alone and through this knowledge understand that loneliness is only there when we are disconnected with ourselves. Others are necessary to better understand who we are: to learn that though red is more like strawberries to you, it is more like cayenne pepper to another.  So the Apple store makes me think of Sirvin (my laptop), and I know that it makes India happy to see what's new and to take advantage of the wifi and devices. Whenever I think of chocolate, I think of milk chocolate because that's what I like, but when I think of dark chocolate I think of Namra, because he likes those.  Whenever I think of braids, I think of discomfort, and I feel admiration for Kanin who can wear them for very long periods of time. Whenever I think of love, I think of my mother who is always teaching me what it means to love another.  Through all these, it is always an 'I' feeling and thinking, and this 'I' knows itself better because it has associated with others. This 'I' has always been alone and will always be alone, but it learns to see itself, and be happy in itself by knowing others.

Someday, I hope to better explain this thought. For now, I can only make this poor attempt.
Happy Monday, and happy first day of July.


  1. This is such a lovely post, Jane! I quite agree with you on loneliness -- it's always there and it comes from inside us, but it isn't necessarily something to be feared. I especially love what you said about meeting people touching on the aloneness within each of us. I made a drawing/text piece about this once.

    By the way, I am in NY this week and next! Are you doing any more fairs in the next couple of weeks?

    1. Lisa! Thank you for the very thoughtful comment. I am so glad you are in NY and I hope we can meet despite the fact that I am not doing any fairs at the moment. I saw your work and I agree! I especially like your explanation of how it is that we are able to "understand" other people when we still don't really know them. Thank you for sharing the it here with me.


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