Saturday, September 17, 2011

Society

My aunt perked up a bit after her birthday party, with all her sisters and other family members arriving to celebrate her ninety-third year of life. I think there is nothing in this world like the company of other people, especially those whose love you never have to question. But if you can't have that, the society of strangers is helpful too. I remember when I was in my twenties before I was married, and the gnawing loneliness sometimes. It felt like deep sadness, and when it descended, I would take my notebook and go and sit in a sidewalk cafe, and spend the whole afternoon there, writing and watching the people come and go. After, I would feel that I had been in the company of others, and it would be easier to go back to my empty apartment and spend the evening alone. Sometimes, I would go to a movie by myself, and it really did give me the sense of being connected to some form of society, just sitting next to strangers, mutually absorbed in the flickering action on screen. It would be easier to be with myself after that. I had assured myself that I was not alone on the planet. It is one of the reasons I love living in New York. You can just walk out your door and feel connected to the surge of humanity, even if you are wandering through it essentially alone. I am both a recluse and social creature. I am glad at this stage to have family around me. I am sure I chose this big extended family of mine in this incarnation so that I would not float off into oblivion, with no threads to bind me. This family I was born into and the one I helped create, they saved me. I believe they really did. 


Photo (c) Anastas Michos

10 comments:

  1. Oh Angella. You are something special. If I haven't told you that lately I am now. I love your blog and always leave feeling energized. You already know how much I look up to you as a fellow mom. But also as a daughter and a niece and a friend. You, my dear, are the real deal.

    Happy Saturday.

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  2. Such beautiful words -- and I love what you said about New York. I felt that same way when I lived there. I adored it --

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  3. it looks as if you're all standing on stars.

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  4. Angella, I relate so much to what you've said here. Since I moved to my new home about 7 months ago I have been so lonely and so sometimes I just go over to the hospital to be around people. I know that sounds pathetic but I just live next door and in the country there are not any coffee shops to hang out in. She said sadly.
    I miss that about living in San Francisco--always having somewhere to go, alone or not.

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  5. Oh yes, you just describe why I need New York very well. Me too, a loner and yet I love being surrounded by friends. I like that picture a lot by the way

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  6. Let me join the chorus of bravos for putting exactly into words how the faces around us fulfill our needs to be herd animals. I felt that so strongly in Paris.

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  7. Hmm....very interesting post to ponder. I have always craved alone time. Being the oldest (eldest?) of 7 children and a mother for the last 25 years, I have never had any time to be alone. I really wonder how I will handle it....

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  8. what a healthy and refreshing perspective
    clever you to choose 'the right incarnation' this time
    sorry struggling with left-handed finger typing!

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