A long time ago, in pre-Internet / pre-social media days, my eyes were still young and too often turned inward.
(Fine, sometimes they still are. That’s what poetry is for: to release angst. I’ve less of it to release these days, hence fewer poems find themselves squiggled between lines.)
I wrote this one in those long ago days. The images will be familiar to many artists.
One’s a Crowd
Lonely isn’t lonely
If one looks from outside in.
It’s just the inside out
That makes a person feel so thin.
Peering on the inside
One can see a host friends,
All caring, sorting, building, coping,
Sharing life with him.
I remember sitting alone, feeling disassociated, odd and out-numbered as I watched others interact. I was happiest with my clay or my pen.
But something happened between the then and now, between the me I was and the me I’m now — a healing, a rejoicing, an empowering — answered prayer as I learned how to like me and so learned how to let others in.
Yes, some of that had to do with life changes: maturity and overcoming pain, marriage to my best friend, sailing to lovely places with him, watching healing happen within me. But some came about because of here. This ability we now have to reach out and touch kindred spirits who may live a continent or a world away.
Hello, Facebook! Hello, blogs! Hello, critique friends and writer friends and friend-friends! Hello, world!
You know who you are. So many of you, old friends and new, who’ve touched me and continue to touch my life. You have helped me grow as a writer and as a person. You’ve reached out and let me reach to you.
I give you a salute today and a peek into beauty from my window.
I hope to meet more of you in the days to come, either here or on Facebook — or in person. Grab a cup of something good and let’s chat a while and get to know one another. None of us needs to feel lonely, no matter how crowded the room or how out of place we imagine ourselves. Reach out. Look around. Someone is waiting for you to say, “Hey, I’m me, and I’d like to know you.”
14 Replies to “In A Crowded Room”
Good to have you back in full functioning order – well, not you, the website I mean!
I read somewhere that the lonely child who observes in the background is the one who grows up to be the writer. There is always going to be an element of holding back and observing, but I agree that the more we interact and learn from each other, the richer we become. Just hard to balance at times!
It is. And writers, as well as artists, will always need to be observers, but we don’t have to be lonely ones. You’re one I’ve met recently and am enjoying. And you’ve pointed me to others. I love having someone reach beyond Facebook or posts to write letters and let me in to her world. And you’re right. We must be careful that we don’t spend too much time online, but enough to keep us from obsessing, I think. My son tries to tell me that online friendships aren’t really friendships, but I disagree. One can find kindred spirits this way, and sometimes even meet them. (Sometimes, we even marry one — and, oh, the blessing this has been for almost ten years now.)
Always the wordsmith, N. Love you. And such lovely pictures. All of them . . .
Thank you, Nicole. I just sat here this morning, thinking how grateful I am for friendships like yours.
Nice post. I’m still that person who feels isolated and on the outside- never quite fitting in…
I understand that, Kent. But the thing I’ve discovered is that sometimes we’re looking in the wrong place. When we don’t fit, I think it’s more because we’re measuring with the wrong ruler, as if the folk on the outside know something we don’t. It sounds to me as if you know a thing or two about photographs and loosing words, as you’ve been digging into that trough to find things you want to say. I found most answers by looking up instead of in or out, but by looking up, I found a better perspective for the inside of me and the inside of others.
Still showing an introspection that never hides the warmth of your character Normandie. The photographs are exquisite and allow you to write the story with the lens. You’re a real artist, a real person and a true friend.
Ah, David. I’ve so enjoyed getting to know you and your world through your books and notes. Another long-distance friend. May your day (or night, at this point) find your health improving and a bit of ease in the burdens you carry. Hello to your lovely wife, please.
Love this post Normandie – your poem is beautiful and I was just going to start my day with a dark cloud over my head, but I read this and now it seems lighter. Thanks so much for sharing 🙂 Life is such a complex journey, sometimes we think it only moves when we wish it to, but it is like a river, continually flowing. Here’s to many more friends! cheers!
You were one I was thinking of, Nicua. I’m so blessed by your lovely pictures and the fun you exhibit on your Facebook page and your blog. May you be filled with joy as you celebrate today.
That is so sweet of you – thank you very much 🙂 – I really enjoyed reading, you really inspired me anew to look with fresh eyes at what is around me and to the wonderful friends already met and to still be met. hugs and blessings 🙂
To you as well, Nicua.
I love this post, Normandie. I’ve been to that dark place called loneliness, watching other interact from afar. These days, I am very grateful for all my friends, and I’m especially thankful for the new ones, like you!
You’re certainly a blessing to me, Robin. I’m so glad God put you in my life! (And just think how much more editing I’ll get done and how much better my comma content will be!)
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