Hello Beyonders! This week’s essay is written by me. It’s about loneliness. After my head injury, my life changed dramatically—and I became acquainted with loneliness in ways I’d never experienced before and didn’t truly understand were possible. All my life, I’ve been an introvert spending heaps of time on my own balanced with a vibrant social life grounded in a robust community. Some of my twenty-five years in NYC included the early aftermath of the accident and my friends rallied round. But when I moved to Michigan and my health collapsed before I’d established any sort of community, I experienced profound isolation which, as symptoms lingered, led to ongoing loneliness. This isn’t the same as being alone, something I’ve enjoyed and needed. During the pandemic, when loneliness manifested seemingly everywhere, I began to consider the roots of it within myself. Perhaps it had always been with me and being such a doer, I’d kept myself busy enough to not recognize it. I researched the genetics of loneliness and also considered stories about my parents’ upbringing in London during WWII, stories I treasured, in a different light. The result is this essay. I hope you enjoy it.
OMG- your writing takes my breath away, Jane. What an exquisite (and educational!) piece.
Such wonderful vulnerability, Jane. I'm 86% Irish, I understand ancestral trauma, it never goes away. As you, I experienced cranial sacral therapy and found the part of my body that held the trauma, my throat, accounting for the years I never spoke up or had an opinion. Thank you for your beautiful words.
Jane, you put so beautifully into words many feelings that I recognize. And I always really love the way you tell you’re mum and dads journey with such understanding. Love you xx
I loved learning so much about you, and about loneliness. Thank you Jane!
So lovely, Jane!
This is just beautiful.
Stunning as always Jane ❤️
Beautiful. So affirming of what we so easily (and wrongly) presume to be a negative.
Thank you for this. It really resonated with me.
This beautiful essay has given me a lot to think about. I often feel that loneliness, even when the external circumstances don’t seem to warrant it, and it’s a comfort to think about it being a seed from long ago it makes sense.
You are a gift ~ gifted with words that settle in me as you, paint your Mother your Father your garden your pets Delilah and Rudy all a part of me now. Only gratitude you share your marrow without picking at the bones , instead observing holding them close and loving them.
If I had known how long this is, I wouldn’t have started my day with your original and powerful piece, which clearly rises from years of reflection and research. I particularly liked your evocation of your parents’ formative wartime years. I don’t read many essays that invite me to consider my own and my family’s experience differently, as yours has done this morning. I have thought and written plenty about these things, yet there is more to discover, more to say.
Love this so much. It's stunning.
Thank you for your vulnerability. I wonder, how did you think about loneliness when you lived in NYC, surrounded by so many people? As the grandchild of Holocaust survivors, I think often about the inheritance of trauma: the biology of it and the narrative of it. There is something social in trauma, but it is mostly isolating. Anyway, thank you for your beautiful writing. I put lots of mental check marks all over it! ❤️
I jus LOVED this piece, Jane. The writing was elegant and the ideas refreshing. Loved it. Thank you for publishing it.