I live within walking distance of two different sets of train tracks, and just minutes ago, I heard a train whistle as it went by. It's a beckoning, haunting sound, and it made me think of this old country song. It's so well written, so simple, so singable and so true.
Have you ever heard the whippoorwill?
He sounds too blue to fly.
The midnight train is whining low.
I'm so lonesome I could cry.
I've never seen a night so long
When time goes crawling by.
The moon just went behind a cloud
To hide its face and cry.
Did you ever see a robin weep
When leaves begin to die?
That means he's lost the will to live.
I'm so lonesome I could cry
The silence of a falling star
Lights up a purple sky.
And as I wonder where you are
I'm so lonesome I could cry. ~ Hank Williams Sr.
I've known for awhile that solitude is an acquired taste, but I'm beginning to realize that loneliness is too. It definitely hurts, but there are pleasures there as well. Loneliness is a gateway drug to self-pity, and I need that in my life like I need crack.
Loneliness sears. It burns, and it can reduce a person to an ashen form of who they used to be. Loneliness can also cleanse the palate if you don't overindulge and restore your taste for all the quirks and charms that people possess.
My Briggs-Meyers type is an INFJ. I'm close to the middle of the introversion/extroversion scale, but ultimately my energy is restored by being alone, and it is depleted by too much time with other people. That I'm introverted at all surprises some people because extroversion has been an acquired, professional skill that I learned in sales. Put that skill on top of the old fashioned good manners and southern hospitality I started learning before I could speak. Add in a distinctive voice, and extroversion appears natural for me. It's just another facet of my personality, even when it feels like a facade.
So much has happened in the last year that I haven't really been able to sort out all of my feelings and reactions. I let them wash over me -- rather like a tsunami -- and was only able to identify the way I felt as Bad. That's all. I've felt bad. The feelings are starting to differentiate themselves. There's been an array of anger, annoyance and irritation. There's been sorrow, emptiness, resentment and shame. There's been fondness, profound love, appreciation and hope. There has been pride, happiness and joy. And there has been loneliness.
Change has been thrust upon me, and there is at least a part of me that is beginning to embrace it. Temporary loneliness is just a natural part of life. Permanent loneliness shouldn't be, and I feel myself starting to make the overtures to make that so.
loneliness, Hank Williams Sr., song lyrics