I liked this post about the picture, 'Loneliness' by Gloria Neel:
For many years, Journal of a Solitude by May Sarton ranked among my favorite books. I haven't re-read it in two decades, so I don't know if I'd like it as much today as I did when I was single. I liked my solitude then, and I still like it (when I get it) now. It's the bright side of the moon of loneliness.
If you are an introvert, solitude is the stuff through which you find resilience and your peace is restored. This probably sounds laughable coming from someone with five kids; alone takes on an aura of fantasy when you're a mom. However, I've learned that what external circumstances don't provide, I can still sometimes find in pockets of my heart. There is a still, quiet place within me that can be nourished regardless of who or what is swirling around. It takes work to find that place, and to keep it healthy. I can't always go there at will. But it's there, and that's good.
I look at Gloria Neel's painting, and can imagine myself sitting in that chair, very content to be alone. I can also envision myself on a different day, bleeding with the loneliness she intended to portray. Then I can imagine myself with leg draped over the chair arm, typing away on a laptop, completely oblivious to the emptiness of the world around me. In some ways that's the most alarming idea; I wonder if and when technology will become so iconic of isolation that it makes its way into art.
Many wonderful people have reached out to me in the past week, concerned about my family's struggles. Sometimes one feels lonely in the midst of a crisis. I do not feel that way at all. There are senses in which we are very alone, but it is not because we lack for caring friends. Not at all. Thanks.