Aspects of Loneliness No. 6

Disappointing if not devastating.
But what do you do?
All my educational endeavors,
All that I have learned,
Focused on solving problems,
Addressing issues.

But that issue was a long time ago.
With in a day or two,
Decisions were made.
But only based on longings,
Longings from years before.
A desire to have more than just us.

If that desire is frustrated,
Alternatives can be found.
Adoption was an option.
Perhaps the only option.
The path chosen.

What is the meaning behind this?
Too quick of a reaction?
No time to come to terms with the dilemma.
No time taken for reflection, discernment.
Is there now a longing for that unrealized person?
That unknown and unknowable child?

I’ve never been aware of a grief.
Nevertheless it can be there.
Feeding a loneliness.

7 Responses to “Aspects of Loneliness No. 6”

  1. chrisbkm Says:

    I had to go back and read your entire series on Aspects of Loneliness after reading this. Now, I’m sitting here, absorbed in the depth and feeling behind your very thought provoking words. Of course I “like” what you’ve written but the little button just seems somehow inadequate. All the best Tom.

    • Tom Says:

      Thank you! I am trying to understand the source(s) of loneliness for me. Turning the question over and over in an attempt to look at the facets from different aspects.

      I have the list somewhere, and I don’t know what’s next to think about, to write about. But the exercise has been helpful.

      • chrisbkm Says:

        It’s a powerful (and intriguing) subject. I appreciate that you’re looking at it beyond the more obvious or apparent angles. I was really taken by your last lines, “I’ve never been aware of a grief./ Nevertheless it can be there./ Feeding a loneliness.”
        This morning I’m quite preoccupied by your subject and turning it over and over in my mind. I wonder about the relationship between a desire for connection and loneliness. Their interconnectedness – but also their independence of one another.
        I also keep returning to a poem I wrote about Newfoundland in 2013, “The landscape erases all trace of self / leaves me standing on the face of the earth. / Loneliness, the last thought before / the impossibility of loneliness.” To what degree does our sense of, or relationship to whatever we think of as God – effect loneliness? And/or is that relationship an antidote to loneliness?
        I think the best writing makes us thoughtful… nice work Tom! Good luck in your exploration.

      • Tom Says:


        Thank you for this.

        For many years I have been aware of a spiritual restlessness, a force beyond my ability to quell. It’s always there like a stuck organ pedal, coloring how I experience so much of life. Perhaps the undercurrent masquerading as loneliness.

  2. Says:

    Your words – “only based on longings, longings from years before.” and “Grief, feeding a loneliness.”

    To identify the original source of the longing, to analyse those feelings as you are Tom, in such a thought provoking and poetically structured way will surely bring more light to bear,

    Perhaps identifying the memory of ones very first feeling of separation brings a clue to why we strive to overcome it. The first day at school for instance, when the parent is suddenly absent and the fear of abandonment rises like a vice in your chest.

    Whatever that first occasion was, it is sought throughout our lives in many ways, through many people, places and things. The need to be really seen, to be acknowledged and needed by another seems paramount but I wonder, is it essential.

    A spiritual restlessness perhaps comes from a soul separation, returning to source is the only way back but for now, to recover that sense of belonging, we must learn to be as whole as we can with every God given tool. I hear you, I see you, I wish you well.

    • Tom Says:

      Teri, Your comment brought back a memory of my first day of kindergarten. I don’t recall who drove me to the Academy of Holy Angels (a high school and convent with a kindergarten classroom) but at the end of the day they left without me. How I navigated the more than a mile of suburban roads to our house remains a mystery to me. When I arrived home, I was tired, hot, and crying.

      Now, 77 years later, I have a visceral reaction when I hear or read about someone’s having been left alone, abandoned. So, your suggested root cause seems to be quite accurate.

      Thank you.

      • Says:

        Tom, I’m glad my comment brought a memory to the surface for you, it must have been a horrible feeling to realise how alone you suddenly were. We are probably still that same child, all through life, doing our best to be grown-up and independent, it’s not always easy.
        When those childhood feelings are revisited, perhaps with the same experience of pain felt, we can finally let them go to allow our inner child to be healed.
        You are safe.

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