Loneliness

A passing beauty
once observed

(Who’d walked upon
the cobbled street
below my window)

Revisited
in dream.

And there
(again)
she strode along

With arms around herself:

A kind of cradling pose
which stood out as
so feminine.

This sight endured
in mind.

Since women always
fascinated me.

How self contained they seemed.
How unapproachable.

Those favoured ones
I most adored
moved ever
beyond reach.

Above apparent
possiblity
for connection.
Or of love.

I recalled
(next)
my childhood
school.


Where bullies
brutes and boasters would
display their baseless confidence.
Acting as if unaware
of life’s
fragility.

But some still
grew quite popular.
While I was left
aside or
shunned.

Both then
and now.

Alone
each day.

All down those
cold decades.

Among
this long
ten thousand nights

at times the
pain could get so bad
that
(lying in the dark
awake)
I also tried to hold myself.

(Console myself.)

Two arms across the chest.

(Just as the passing girl had done.)

Yet

found

it


did not

help.

 


 

(As an affectionate person, 30 years alone with illness has felt a bit like
being endlessly stuck in a touch-deprivation experiment.

I tried to convey something of that experience in the poem.)

 


 

And now, rather late (but better than never?) :

Here’s a piece to mark fours years on WordPress…

 


 

 

4th Blogiversary post

 

 

 

Not writing

 

 

How I envy those who love writing!

It doesn’t work that way for me.

 

Nor did my “blogging break” enable “returning refreshed”.

I find “refreshed” an almost forgotten sensation.
Due to chronic illness.

Each morning feels more like dragging my body free from a pit
of exhaustion and pain.
After taking minor beatings, during the night.
(Had dream-demons caught me again?)

Then I attempt to fake being human, for a few hours.

 

The longer my blogging break, the harder restarting appeared.
Inertia, anxiety, self-doubts, set in.

Watching others pour out their blogposts
I floundered amid sickness and despair.
Tormented by my own time-wasting.

Depression coats awareness
with its layer of toxic mould.

Failure expands, to seem a default state.

 

Perhaps poem-hunger makes it worse?
The waiting for inspiration.
Minus structure, plan, or plot.

Because I associate writing with mental ferment.
Nailbiting.
Insomnia.

Where ideas disrupt rest.
Tapping against windowpanes of consciousness.
As if annoying moths sought entry.

Thoughts scribbled down: in order to escape them.
After which they fade, unseen.
Confined by decaying notepads.
An unedited chaos, I lack energy to synthesise.

If only this mess could be redeemed!

But illness ruins everything.

(How to ever to get published
when I struggle to get out of bed?)

So passed a blogiversary:
Enjoying other people’s work.
While neglecting my own.

Days spent scrolling.
soon  joined weeks.
Then months.

On it goes.
The emptiness.

 

The ticking clock.

Now draws me back.

To write.

 

About

not writing.

 

 

 


 

Does anyone else prefer reading to writing?

Have you ever felt motivationally-challenged (like me)?

Comments are always VERY welcome!🙏

 

Best wishes to you all!

 

(Art on the blog is mine: I hope you like it.🌛)

 

Thanks
for reading!

 

 

 


( anxiety / art / beauty / blog / blogging / depression / drawing / life / loneliness / mental health / poem / poems / poetry / writing )




203 thoughts on “Loneliness”

  1. wow, what an exquisitely sensitive, pain-inspired, and beautifully/brutally honest post. we need more bloggers writing about this type of stuff including the mental ferment that you mention, depression, anxiety, etc. i know it hurts and you should no doubt take as many breaks as you need. but please do not stop writing (nor reading).

    Liked by 5 people

  2. Exquisite Ken Hallett. Whether you write profusely or sparingly, I would read whatever you write, judging from what you offered here. I too manage chronic illness, confining me to my home after early retirement. Now 70, I read mostly but “write in my head” the second historical novel about a small island where I grew up.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. HI Ken,
    I liked this post some time ago but did not leave a comment. As fate would have it, somehow I’ve ended up here again, re-reading your spellbinding words of emotion and turmoil. Twice in fact. Very moving and heart-felt, I think I have something in my eyes as they’ve become moist 😉 I also read the comments above. You’re not alone. Your writing and art are inspirational.
    I recall a quote ” A wise man speaks because he has something to say, a fool speaks because he has to say something”. You are no fool and I look forward to your next post, whenever that may be.
    In the meantime, I hope that life can be a little kinder to you and you find some comfort from your fellow blogging “friends”.
    Cheers, Tone.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks for your very generous comment, Tone!😊
      I’m honoured that you find my work worth re-reading.

      Hope to blog again, later this month, by the way.
      (May give more info, there, about this long gap between posts.)

      Liked by 2 people

  4. I can only echo many of your readers and hope that life might be kinder for you. My mental illness has made life complicated at times but medication and therapy have truly helped. I wish my life had been a little easier but perhaps we just perceive that other people have it better. Good luck and excellent, emotive writing.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. I re-read this today and it struck me.
    At Indie Blu(e) we’re still putting together BUT YOU DON’T LOOK SICK about chronic illness. It was our first project but we only got around to it now (ironically because we’re all chronically sick in one form or fashion) and ironically also, it’s probably going to be the biggest anthology we’ve done (and you know how long some of them are!). So I thought a lot about what you said about the isolation and loneliness of illness. People who live in the ‘other world’ (one of health) simply do not know what it feels like. How could they? Even if they are carers of sick people I do not think they ‘know’ because to understand only comes from experience in this case. You cannot guess your way into the life of chronic illness any more than other intense experiences.
    The world is very cruel. I would like to say it isn’t but it simply is. When someone is sick in any way (mental/physical/soul) people don’t care, and they leave them further isolated.
    My best friend got diagnosed with a brain tumor about 6 years ago. She had surgery and then a VP shunt placed for liquid on the brain post-surgery. The tumor out went well but the shunt caused her to have seizures and lose her peripheral and depth of vision. She can see straight on really well still. that meant she couldn’t drive, she would bump into things or sometimes fall off a curb. I have gone through this with her, nobody else stood by her, people at her work place ganged up against her and she lost her job and her family were absent. Seeing her that alone shook me to my core. I idealized the idea of illness and people being kind if you were. Then in 2017 as you know, I was stricken down. For ages they didn’t know why I went down to 80 pounds and couldn’t eat or keep things down. Eventually over a year later, they figured a form of Gastroparesis called Gastric Arrythmia (spastic stomach) the attacks lessened a little with medication but I have to live with it, although it’s far better now. A year later my optician told me she thought I was going blind after many specialists I found out I had very premature Macular Degeneration. It felt like too much on top of everything else, given I’d been healthy as a horse before and in many ways I still am but these things will change my life/have changed my life.
    Not trying to make this about me. But saying I understand about loneliness, about isolation, about wondering why people don’t care? As soon as I got sick I lost quite a few, including my mom who had never been close but she just walked. I could never treat another person that way so I don’t understand why this happens but you are right, it does. And as for wanting to write, yes many say they love it but I wonder if that is remotely true, as it is not always a labor of love even. Honestly I write for a living and write my own stuff, and I don’t find joy in either. It’s a job for me. I do appreciate good writing. But when I write I don’t feel ‘great’ like others say they do. I think it’s okay to just be you. Just do you. And as we get older, we have to try to understand that there will be some who love us and care but they are the minority. It is something I find very sad about humans but I still have hope in the good ones, and that includes YOU. I hope you will not give up on writing. i do think it connects us and keeps us in this world and since this is the world we are in – that’s not such a bad thing. xo Sending you support – friendship and respect xo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your kind, detailed, and generous comment, Candice!😊
      I was sorry to hear of your friend’s experiences.
      I recall expressing my sympathy and sadness concerning your Gastroparesis (when you posted about it, a while back).
      But the Macular Degeneration seems even crueller, in a way: given your youth.
      To be honest (speaking particularly as an Artist) I’ve always had a special dread of vision loss.
      It upset me so much to hear you are having to cope with this.😔
      My heart goes out to you, Dear Candice!

      (PS: On the practical side, one suggestion which might possibly help (in case you hadn’t thought of it yet):
      is to try some powerful anti-oxidants.
      My first resort (beyond the most well-known anti-oxidants) would be supplementing with Lipoic Acid and/or N.A.C.(N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine).
      There are scientific studies on their positive effects in Macular Degeneration (fairly easy to find online).
      I take them myself in a low dose. (Before breakfast on an empty stomach.)
      Just an idea, anyway.)

      Sending a hug 🤗 and my very Best Wishes, to you!

      Like

  6. Since I have been reading this, I have to admit that what has been bothering me for the last few years is nothing compared to what you have to contend with. The poetry itself is very emotional and frankly deeply moving. It is certainly not given to many to sprinkle such a painful issue in public.
    I would continue to write, regardless of how you feel, because in a way it can heal you, it heals your heart and soul.
    I hope I am not writing nonsense here, because my English is not that good, so I had the text translated. If there are any misunderstandable words here, please excuse me.

    I wish you a lot of strength, and the strength to keep believing in yourself and in today.

    A beautiful text by Neville Godard;
    Do not think about tomorrow, tomorrow’s impressions are determined by today’s impressions.

    Kind regards,
    Marc

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for your supportive comment, Marc! 🌞
      Rest assured: I can understand you quite well (do you speak Dutch, by the way?)
      and am grateful for what you say.
      Yes: I try to write openly about painful matters.
      Fortunately, there are already very many blogs with happier posts than mine (which is a good thing!).
      But I would feel rather fake if attempting to be especially joyful about my own experiences.
      (And regular readers are probably used to my melancholy tendencies by now, LOL! 😄)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It is good that you remain who you are by nature and do not pretend to be something else, as others might wish. Pretending that everything is going well for you, you will be found out sooner or later.

        Yes, I speak and write mainly Dutch, but I can manage with English in short answers 😉

        Take care Ken, take care of yourself, and thank you for responding.

        Have a nice evening,
        kind regards,
        Marc

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Wonderful poetry and art Ken!

    As for your question; I read more than I write. Novels take me to other places and times and so lift me out of the mundane. But for a long time I suffered badly from the lasting effects of a head injury and reading was denied me. That’s when I rediscovered writing poetry and making art.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Kim! 🌞
      Always nice to hear from you!
      Sorry to learn of your injury.
      Many people with M.E./CFS also have trouble reading.
      I struggle with brain fog, but am lucky enough to still be able to lose myself in a novel.
      (Textbooks are a different matter, however! LOL!)

      Liked by 1 person

  8. You write in such gentle honesty of suffering, it’s art.
    I don’t know what to say other than its a blessing to read your poetry, Ken, especially when there’s so much fake optimism that goes on social media, your poetry is a solace. So thank you truly for sharing. The art is fabulous as usual.
    Keep on, Ken.

    and yeah more than ever it feels better to read than write anything, though sometimes even reading seems to take effort. but then poetry such as yours proves more than worth the effort.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Ken, your blog is quite a read!
    What should i say? Don’t stop! I say it to myself all the time. We share some common problems and this writing gives us something to rely on,

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Lovely to hear from you as well. Thank you so much for visiting my blog too. You may like a piece I posted a while back called, My Master, the Blade. I will definitely visit again and hope you’ll do the same. 🙏🏽

        Liked by 1 person

  10. This poem about loneliness was so achingly raw and real, I also love the longing present within it you portrayed, and that sense of wanting to be a part of something that seemed so impossible to be a part of, that resonated with me too.. your writing is very beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I’m sorry for what you’re going through 😦 For me, it’s the opposite. My chronic illness does not allow me to read. My mind is constantly racing, and I can never concentrate, no matter how hard I try!

    Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

          1. Hello! Haha, that’s okay, as you can see I’m delaying responding late myself! Yes! I have transitioned to audiobooks, and I also enjoy podcasts! But I definitely want to train my mind to sit still because I do enjoy just the feel of carrying around a good book! Hope all is well! ☺

            Liked by 1 person

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