Notes On Attention Paid

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04 Maria Popova on Loneliness

… i was about to title this Sylvia Plath, or the Journals of Sylvia Plath… MP’s thoughts here revolve around Sylvia Plath’s journals even as they evoke thoughts and feelings of sadness and loneliness that she herself feels… MP is talking as much about her own experience as she is decoding Sylvia Plath’s…

… i learn that she considers her upbringing less than optimal and that she has struggled in relationships with “people whose claws fit (her) wounds and deepen them,” an experience i certainly had with my first marriage…

… it is strange, though, to talk about the loneliness of love… i don’t really understand this… i suppose that a relationship can leave one unfulfilled (and therefore lonely?)… i suspect that one is lonely on their own when one isn’t good at being with themselves… would this have been Sylvia Plath’s problem?… is this Maria Popova’s problem?…

… i have spent very little of my life truly alone… there has almost always been a love interest and very brief times of solitude between those interests… even so, i have always required large amounts of solitude within my relationships… i wake up early in the morning just to have several hours of that solitude before H wakes up and the household begins to churn…

… i am so good at being alone that i don’t struggle with loneliness much at all… i like who and what i am in solitude… this was my pandemic super power… i did not have to change much about my routines during the height of it… often, it is enough to satisfy my need for human contact to be in a cafe full of strangers, or, during the pandemic, meet someone i know on the street and chat for a few minutes…