Saturday, October 08, 2005

Loneliness and Louise Erdrich

Why do I feel so terrible? I don't know. I'm in such a stinky mood lately andI'm not sure if it's the weather change -it's finally drizzly and gray for the long haul here in Seattle- or if it's because my friend will be visiting soon, or if what's going on my life is just gross. In the past this might have been a time for a little retail therapy, but I am too poor now to commit to the intensive therapy that would facilitate any true, lasting healing...

I was walking to work yesterday and I realized that my life has begun to return to what I don't want it to be. That everyday drudgery, that go-to-work- come-home cycle. I know that it is only temporary, but I'm not helping myself because I'm not doing the things that I need to do for my future, ie, writing, and for my soul, ie, writing. Why? Because I am alone here and feeling fairly lonely. I am feeling sorry for myself because the adjustment to this place has been difficult, as some of you know, and I seem to have once again taken up my most familiar past time of wallowing in my loneliness. It might be fairly accurate to say that I just know that I am a lonely person, but I guess I have to admit that I wallow in it sometimes too. Yes, I know that this is not productive and I know that the intensity of the way I am feeling is only temporary too. The fact is, I have always been keenly aware, since I was a child, actually, that I am lonely. There have only been a few times in my life when I was not.

I don't really know what to do about that, I just live with it, I guess loneliness is my companion in a sense.

Wow, does this sound pathetic or what?

I don't mean it to, it's just that I know ultimately what I need to make it go away and that's not something I can necessarily make happen on my own.

See, I am not lacking in the self-esteem department, or too shy or afraid to make friends. I am not a weirdo -at least not in a disturbing sort of way- I am not one of those people who needs constant validation from others. BUT, I am one of those people who is really strong, independent, no nonsense, and even at times, enchanting. Yes, I said it, so shut up. It's true though and I forgot one thing, I'm not arrogant or exclusive. I am sure of myself and accepting of others at the same time and I am very honest.

You would think that I might have hordes of people flocking to me. But I don't, I've realized some things in evolving into the person I describe above and am fiercely proud of, and that is a lot of people don't like those things. This is starting to sound like I ripped a few pages from the martyr handbook and posted them here, but that is my intention. I suppose I'll just have to find away to abate the loneliness. I go through these periods, kind of like phases, when I realize that I am alone. Now more than ever, because so much has changed this year and I still don't know how to reach my destination and there's no one to really help me or even accompany me on the journey, as I thought there might be a few months ago.

Anyway, I feel okay about it and I know that my own behavior, ie, not writing, is a huge cause of this. I'm postponing the thing that makes me whole. Why? No complex answer, I am being lazy, I am a procrastinator, and at times I've been feeling sorry for myself. I wonder if Toni Morrison or Louise Erdrich ever went through these things.

By the way, I went to see Louis Erdrich read passages from her new book, The Painted Drum, last night at Elliot Bay Books. God, I want to be like her. This is big, because I don't want to be like anyone, ever. Her writing is so moving, so like a painting in muted colors that captures your attention through the subtlety of its expression. Like Toni Morrison, her writing, really touches you, moves you in ways you didn't know possible.

Could I be like that? Could I touch people, move them in ways they didn't know possible? Something in me tells me that I could.

I better get on that.

By the way, stop by and say hello to Sharon. She is home now and sounds like she is doing well, which makes me feel a little less lonely...

*my favorite book by Louise Erdrich is the Antelope Wife.
**Elliot Bay Books along with 57th Street Books in Chicago have to be the most amazing independent bookstores I've been to.
***my favorite book by Toni Morrison is Song of Solomon. Oh, and the newest, Love is quite amazing too.


Jimmy said...

Hang in there...things will get better. Sometimes when I am feeling like that I go online and chat and have actually conversed with some descent people. Sometimes I just feel a need to talk and maybe that is what you need. I wish there was a way that you could really be sure that the people you met were "real". That way you could really talk and not worry that it might be some crazy person. Anyway like I said...hang in there...we are all pulling and praying for you.

Eunice said...

I have an idea...write about your loneliness. Not here, but in your writing. Maybe that will be a way to address it.

My ex was a writer, and when we broke up, my mom made an interesting observation: she said that the reason for all the drama in our relationship was probably so that he could feel what he was writing. And then I thought about it, and she was right, his best writing practically mirrored what was going on in our lives. So that tells me that writing what you feel works.

I just love reading Sharon's blog every day, sometimes, even multiple times a day...let her be your inspiration and write write write.

mmmm...that's delicious said...

thanks, jim.

i think the internet is not what i need to sate my loneliness. i know it works for some though.

mmmm...that's delicious said...


you're so right.

Sharon said...

I love your writing. I'm with Eunice: write write write!

I know what you mean about loneliness. I have had many of the same feelings, myself.

and by the way...thanks for the hello... :) You and Eunice are making my day all over the place already this morning. I'm only just now getting up and getting back to reading everyone else's blogs (which I missed sorely!!)...hang in there.

n.v. said...

Rachel, my friend, why are you in Seattle? What took you there and why do you stay?

n.v. said...

That isn't meant to sound flip - I really am curious.