Thursday, May 17, 2018


"I'm making a list of things I'm not allowed to say:

That I'm lonely. And that I fear this loneliness will crush me, slowly and by degrees.

...That I feel like I'm stuck behind a glass wall watching everyone else live a life I've only ever dreamt of. That it is isolation in plain sight.

.. That I have become greedy for affection. And I fear there is some threshold for loneliness that should I pass I may never recover. That it sometimes rushes in like a tidal wave, flooding levees and toppling internal infrastructure, leaving me at a crowded dinner table afraid to look up from my plate for fear that someone may see the sadness in my eyes.

That loving someone does make everything a little bit easier. There is this construct in psychology called transactive memory. It is the idea that we store information and ideas - memories even - in the minds of the people around us. I cannot help but wonder if this is true of joy and sadness too? If it is possible to share emotion in this way? And what must it feel like when a person you love carries your heaviness, if only for a moment?

That there is exposure in living one's life alone.

And that for a stretch of time I walk north on Sixth Avenue each morning and pass a man who spends the whole of his day yelling upwards at the sky. I wonder if we aren't more alike than not. It would be easy to say, No, of course not.

But loneliness, stripped of the many layers in which we dress it, is fundamentally the same."

Pages 99-100,   'Places I Stopped on the Way Home, A Memoir of Chaos and Grace', Meg Fee


"I wear sadness differently now than I did at eighteen or 25 or any of the years in between.

I'm more comfortable with my own brokenness - more at ease with the notion that it's the well from which I draw empathy and kindness and humour. It is so telling of what it is to be human and alive in this world."

Page 42, 'Places I Stopped on the Way Home, A Memoir of Chaos and Grace', Meg Fee

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