Lockdown Day 78 – 12 June 2020 – Loneliness

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Carl Ditters von Dittersdorf – Symphony in C-major “La Prise de la Bastille”

Yesterday I was too busy to journal. In 78 days of lockdown the one thing I have not been is bored. 

There are benefits to being an introvert. When my own good company is not enough anymore, or when we (the voices in my head – we) start arguing, I can always have a virtual coffee with somebody.

This morning I heard something about “dreams are good friends when you are lonely.” I thought dreams are good friends when I long to the mountains and special places. Dreaming is not a substitute for the real dirt roads, but is better than just pining away for the outdoors. That is why I have all the photos.

Loneliness is also not something that I often feel.

“Let me tell you this: if you meet a loner, no matter what they tell you, it’s not because they enjoy solitude. It’s because they have tried to blend into the world before, and people continue to disappoint them.”
― Jodi Picoult, My Sister’s Keeper

“Music was my refuge. I could crawl into the space between the notes and curl my back to loneliness.”
― Maya Angelou


Who am I to argue with Jody Picoult? Perhaps she is right, perhaps not. Who knows? I am happy, though.

Maya Angelou is closer to home. Music is not an escape from loneliness for me, but it does play a huge role in my life. Not only can music reflect a mood, it can also create a mood or emotion. It can help you express, an emotion and it can help you overcome emotion. Simon & Garfunkel’s At the Zoo always make me smile.

Perhaps I do not experience a lot of loneliness because I love reading. Perhaps reading is my refuge, as music for Maya Angelou?

While doing my exercises this morning I thought about books. There are very few things I know that I did not learn in a book! Books are sources of knowledge. Books are sources of values. The children’s and youth series that we read when I was a boy conveyed good, solid values.

Books takes you places. One of the reasons I love Louis L’Amour’s Westerns, is his description of terrain and characters.  The one or two books of Chanette Paul that I read, I also enjoyed her in depth descriptions of places and background (and I can identify with the heroes in both cases!)

What books are must reads? The list is too long. Today I will list just three.

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. I read it 3 times, already and will read it again. It achieved cult status. It is the sub-title that people miss! It is not about motorcycles and not about Zen. But then, it is about motorcycles and Zen. It is not a storybook.

I don’t know why I am thinking about the Girl in the Picture this morning. The Girl in the picture changed the sentiment about the Vietnam war. It is a picture that captures the horror of war. The book is the autobiography of Kim Phuc who was photographed while running, burning because of a Napalm Bomb. The book is not a horror story. Quite the opposite.

The other books I cannot get out of my mind today, comes from Bill Bryson. A Brief History of Everything. Have you ever wondered: “How do they know?” How do they know what the center of earth looks like? How do they know about all the fascinating things that science tells us? With typical Bryson humor the history of science unfolds in this book. Including Professors who, respectively, insisted to collect rocks and plants in full academic regalia and in the nude. I cannot remember how it influenced their research.

The other Bryson book is A Walk in The Woods. The story of his efforts on the Appalachian trail. Easy why this one is top of mind. I long for the woods. And the best explanation if hyperthermia I ever read, was in this book. It changed my hiking habits. The stories and humor interspersed with the facts makes it an ideal read for a cold winter’s day.

Books are good friends. You will never be lonely!

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