Sunday, January 09, 2011

Suspension Bridge

On one side of the bridge is the solitude, the reclusiveness, the state of aloneness.

On the other is the support, the friendship, the love from others.

Sometimes I have to force myself to cross that bridge and interact with my own species. I've talked about being a gregarious loner, well sometimes the "lone" part has a very slender thread to the "gregarious".

I ignored a call to attend a turkey dinner yesterday with people I very much care about. The idea of being alone had far more appeal. And I find it does for the most part lately and I am more than a little wary of it.

The darker internal machinations start to assemble in a corner of my brain and begin to sharpen their weapons. I ask myself, are others like me? I do believe they are. Well, some are.

Old thoughts surface. Memories of my missing daughter for one. That never leaves, it just goes into a somnolent state and then the darker forces get noisy and wake her up. A few of the "might-have-beens" join her and then a cluster of long lost relatives and friends. I have to force myself to pick up the phone, rejoin community, make arrangements for a chat, share feelings with the few trusted others I have in my life.

So today, I move along that suspension bridge to the other side and rejoin society. If I hang in the middle too long, the wind picks up and it starts to sway rather dangerously.

I do not ponder on what would happen with an extended stay on the solitary side of it. I have seen those darker forces win the day, slashing the slender wires to sanity and allowing the madness to take over. Completely.


  1. It's a dark time for many right now WWW - perhaps you are picking up on it psychologically somehow?

    A mentally disturbed young man killed 6 people yesterday in Arizona, critically injured a politician and around 15 others were injured too. One of the dead is a 9 year-old child, born on 9 September 2001 - that dreadful date!

    Hugs. Keep the strength, WWW. Your voice is needed above the insanity.

  2. Strange isn’t it, how we can fear that which we crave? I suppose it’s like a crack addict in some ways – she knows the bliss she will experience but is afraid of the valley that follows. I’ve talked before about my own increasing need for solitude. I’m craving it more and more and fortunately, except for the inconvenience of work, am able to get a fair bit of it. I sometimes wish I could cut the ropes that hold the bridge in place. The only problem of course, is that the grocery store and the gas station are on the other side. And, I haven't had a chance to try the Red Pepper yet! :-)

  3. I too fear my great need to be alone. I fear that I will turn into one of those people they find dead when the stench becomes unbearable.

  4. Love the poetry of this post and share a deep connection to the yin and yang of solitude. Like you I crave my own company and like you I am not always my own best friend.

    Full spectrum light and forced interaction with others seems the best antidote for me.

  5. I too long for my own company, but I know that it's not always my best friend, because I should not always be alone with my own thoughts without the input of that of other people. As I get older, I appreciate my solitude more an more.All the more reason to cross the suspension bridge. I do fear heights, so it's a chore, but I must not lose contact with society.

  6. Have been feeling kindof down myself lately and it is just like being scared to cross that bridge to healing. I keep making excuses for myself. Hope you get your balance back soon.

  7. Aloneless is stimulating up to a certain point but then it turns sour. We all need regular spells of company to keep us sane and grounded.

  8. Oh that lovely siren song of solitude! I listen to it all the time. It isn't depression that leads me into the deep woods though, but what i've come to suspect is a true misanthropic personality...

    I hope your darker forces can be kept at bay. I'm glad you know about the bridge.

  9. It seems your missing daughter is a little like you and was tempted to the solitary side of the bridge. Perhaps like her mother she will cross the bridge again.

  10. I does seem that as we age the might have beens and the lost loved ones haunt us more and more. I find I have to stop myself from looking back and imagining doing it over, doing it better, living some other more virtuous life. But I know that's a waste of the precious time left.

    Spring is coming.

  11. Solitude, particularly when one has the luxury of the internet to create a kind of interaction with society, is particularly tempting.

    The feeling that life is simpler when it doesn't involve other people is very strong. No-one can hurt me if there is no-one about. But, I also find that I am my own worst enemy. Left alone for too long, the insidious voice which likes to point out every situation where I screwed up or made a fool of myself (going back to childhood) just gets louder and louder, and, on my own, there are no healthy remedies to block it out.

    It is incredibly scary to break that solitude (I lost count of the numbers of times at boarding school and uni that I stood with my hand on the door knob to the common room, and ended up turning round and going back up to my room, feeling a worse person because of it), but somehow seems to be necessary for the sake of sanity.

    As you cross that bridge, particularly when it is swaying and the floor below is a long way down, please do remember that there are lots of us on the other side ready to welcome you with a hug and a cup of tea :-)

  12. It is a grand metaphor. Very well written. I can relate.

  13. Would it hold if all of us gregarious loners collected on that bridge? We're always weighing the balance, aren't we? I woke this morning thinking, "Yippee!! I don't have anyplace to go today and I don't even have to shower!"

    Take good care of yourself, dear friend. You are surrounded by friends in your solitude.


  14. The older I get the more I like my own company. The dark monochrome days are what get to me. Hopefully I will notice a big difference in ten days time.


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