an evident suitability for loneliness

13 02 2012

Cold. It’s so cold. My walls have become a prison, Bargain Hunt my torture.

This house is my home. It has all my things in in. Things I have collected. They all have my memories in them. But this is house has an evident suitability for loneliness. Because there is just me here. 

I am old. I am cold.

There are people everywhere. I can see them, through the nets, past the little hedge, on the pavement. Hello, I say in my underused voice.

Hello, I say back, pretending to be them.

I can hear them, through the walls, children next door, across the street, wrapped up warm and snug. Hello, I think, remembering days when I wrapped myself against the chill and didn’t feel the cold in every bone and muscle and the pain of the long and lonely walk to tea-for-one in the kitchen that it’s too cold to keep tidy.

I long for the thaw. Then I shall be free. Slow, but free from my once-comfortable prison of long and lonely days.

I know you are all busy. I know you are cold too. But please remember me. And say hello back when you walk past. 


This post was prompted when I read the line I used in the title in the book Midwinter Sacrifice, which has nothing to do with the loneliness of old people, but it was such an evocative phrase and it gave me this idea. Such is the connection of thoughts and ideas. If it encourages one person to visit an older person, it was worth writing… 

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5 responses

14 02 2012
UKViewer

Loneliness, the scourge of a modern society, and overcrowded world, where everyone is to busy to meet and communicate with each other.

Sadly, all to often we walk on by, without at least giving someone a smile or a nod. Acknowledging their existence, acknowledging their dignity. Respecting their presence, no matter how fleeting in our lives.

We blame our busy lives, we blame not wanting to get involved, we wonder if they are going to delay us by stopping and chatting – why are we like this?

Jesus never ignored anyone. He acknowledged and spoke to and healed the poor, the lowly, the desperate. He mixed with Saints and Sinners alike. He took the time to be alongside all, except those who denied him.

If we aspire to disciple ship, we need to be more like Jesus and less like Satan.

15 02 2012
Kevin

Thank you UKViewer – though I have to say I agree with you up to your last sentence. You use strong words, but I get your meaning!

14 02 2012
edge

It was worth writing.
It was worth reading.
Thanks.
You are often at your most provocative when you are at your gentlest. The challenges of grace…
I hope you might come and visit me sometimes when I’m older. Well, I’m already older, but when I’m really old, I shall need someone like you to remind me why I need to try and get out more….

15 02 2012
Kevin

Thank you Edge. That is a lovely thing to hear and I will think on it a lot. To be provocative and gentle. I like it. And I will visit you.

15 02 2012
wonderingsoul

You’ve captured a truth that should be spoken about more.
The empathy with which you’ve written this is beautiful and touching. I guess it’s born from the experience of loneliness, ‘the scourge of our nations’ as UKviewer so rightly points out.
It seems inescapable.
I’d like to say that Jesus is the cure… but i honesty, I can’t.
Loneliness persists despite our relationships, our jobs and our beliefs.
And so, the question remains…
What IS the cure?

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