Saturday, February 2, 2013

Lonely Hearts

My heart is 
the most tormented country of all.  

Giuseppe Ungaretti - August 27, 1916

I once read that we can die from heartache.

The Buddhists believe that life is suffering.
Isn't it loneliness too?
We share profound fragments of our existence with persons who are very close to us. Yet, the moment arrives when we can no longer postpone coming to terms with the zany whirls and twirls of Fate. As it happens, we realize that we are alone in the task; we must be alone. We must be lonely.

Morpheus tells Neo in The Matrix, "I can only show you the door. You're the one that has to walk through it."
Pink Floyd sing, "We are two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl";
Dean Moriarty, in Jack Kerouac's On the Road,  "ragged in a moth-eaten overcoat he brought specially for the freezing temperatures of the East, walked off alone, and the last I saw of him he rounded the corner of Seventh Avenue, eyes on the street ahead, and bent to it again".

Regardless of who is standing by our side, the Truth must be faced through no intermediaries. We can be sustained by the thought of those who love us, who have accompanied us along the way, of those who have held our hand tight.
Sometimes, instead, we cannot.

When we cannot, we are lonely hearts.
When we can, we are lonely hearts.



  1. I always wondered at how couples tend to think they are one - that they magically transform themselves into half people and join up to form a whole. Hm. Doesn't really work with me. Even when in the deepest throes of love or being in love, I know I'm alone, I'm me. Take care

  2. I love this post, Jay. :)
    First, I love the pic you used here. Did you take this pic?
    It's so appropriate for the text.
    Second, I absolutely love Ungaretti's quotation. WOW! So simple, yet so profound.
    Third, as much as I agree with Buddhist philosophy, I disagree that "life is suffering". You make the best or worst of what life throws your way. I've had wonderful moments in my life so I cannot be radical and say life is suffering.
    Lonely hearts? Not so sure about this. Even when you don't have a romantic partner next to you, you're always surrounded by those who care for you and love you, therefore you're not "lonely". You feel lonely because you want to share what most humans enjoy: coupling. We are social animals. Unfortunately, we're not loners like tigers ;) That's why we are overwhelmed by "loneliness". I bet the tiger is the happiest mammal and even happier when he gets lucky (and mates!) LMAO!!! :)

  3. Kitty,
    I think it's very possible without losing one's own individuality. I consider lucky those who achieve that.

    Oh yes, I took the picture.
    Well, I think that Buddhist philosophy encompasses life in much broader circles, including concepts like karma, thought, love, death, and others over which we have no control.
    Maybe the tiger is the happiest mammal. But I wouldn't mind being a penguin either!

  4. You're so poetic, Jay! I really do love your blog--it's always interesting, thought-provoking, and relevant. And I found this so beautiful. I'm so glad you're a writer along with your other talents.

    (And on a side note, I'm totally laughing at your comment on my blog! Haha! And impressive you've got the skills!)


  5. I try not to think that way, because that way can lie despair. But here's the crack through which a ray of hope can enter . . .

    "It's never lonliness that nibbles away at a person's insides, but not having room inside themselves to be comfortably alone.”
    ― Rachel Sontag, House Rules

    "I hold this to be the highest task for a bond between two people: that each protects the solitude of the other."
    —Rainer Maria Rilke

  6. Since you bring up Buddhism, perhaps therein lies your answer. The tenets of Buddhism state that desire and ignorance cause suffering. There is an end to suffering, and according to Buddhism, it is the Eightfold Path that leads to it-- Nirvana!

    Not addressing Buddhism, your queries sound rather existential. And with that, I agree with it all. We are alone and we have no one. Life has no meaning. But that's the most liberating part of existentialism, in my opinion. We're alone, except for the relationships we choose to forge. Life has no meaning, except for the meaning we give it.