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… 



26 10 2010

Every now and then I am overcome with what some of you go through every day. People I meet and people I know who daily struggle with depression, eating disorders, domestic violence, bi-polar disorder, bullying, schizophrenia, mental health issues, physical pain, bereavement, loneliness, and all kinds of other things.

Some of you have found faith in the midst of these issues; some of you have held on to faith in the midst of them; some of you have lost faith in the midst of them.This is a tribute to all of you, some of whom wear your experiences on your sleeve and some of whom keep them so well hidden no-one would know. No-one.

Faith is a dirty and messy thing because faith is part of all this crappy stuff, clinging on, falling off, picking itself up, falling off. Faith is very real. And is certainly not escapism. Some say that faith is a crutch for the weak and the desperate and yes, the weak and the desperate are very welcome. As is everyone. Jesus is my teacher and my inspiration, and I see him sitting with the weak and the desperate, and the strong and together, who turned out to be weak and desperate anyway. He incarnated – became flesh – as one of us. That matters. He’s not a quick fix fix-it magic wand kind of God. Inadequate as that may seem, when a magic wand to take away the problem might seem better.

You are amazing. Amazing when you carry on, amazing when you cannot. And you are loved. Loved when you cope, loved when you do not. Loved when you function, loved when you cannot. Loved when you give in, and loved when you do not. Love is patient, when we cannot be. Love is kind, when we cannot be. Love protects, trusts, hopes, perseveres, when we cannot.  Love loves when we have run out.

Words are so inadequate, quoting the bible is so trite, for the depths of pain some of you daily feel. So I thought I would go ultra-cheesy and post this song because it truly is ultra-cheesy and it makes me smile and you people, you make me smile because you are amazing, you keep my faith real and grounded and in perspective where it should be. Thank you for what you give me.

When you smile the whole world stops and stares for while. Because you are amazing.

And it that is too cheesy, there’s always the Mumfords!

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