Life Art & Beauty

    October Letter: Loneliness

    Edward Hopper: the artist that evoked urban loneliness and disappointment  with beautiful clarity | The Independent | The Independent
    Automat, Edward Hopper, 1927

    Dear friend,

    Do you ever feel lonely?

    Do you ever feel isolated, divorced from other beings, divorced from the world itself? “No man is an island,” but what if one feels like one?

    Do you ever long for the things you imagine others do in togetherhood, ashamed because you do not, yet helpless as to how you could?

    Over the past several months, I have tasted the bitter sting of loneliness more sharply than ever. Part of the pain of living a nomadic lifestyle is living with loneliness. The persistent shift of locations, the gain and loss of friends, the distance that shortens communication and ends in silence. . .

    Even so, I am a paradox when it comes to loneliness.

    As an introverted soul, I take pleasure in solitude. And beautiful things, I know, are born from solitude. In life, as well as art. Many artists, such as Poe and Edward Hopper, have spun poignant works in the depths of isolation. Solitude is, as studies have shown, a valuable element of the art-making process. Yet, an affinity for solitude does not (and should not) negate a longing for society. A longing that many, I know, feel in our covid-torn world.

    Community, however, can be hard to find. As I’ve come to notice in visiting the states again, proximity does not equal connectivity. Some of the greatest (and most populous) cities in the world house some of the loneliest people.

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