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  • Writer's pictureCrone

Things I have learned in 2022 V

The more I find out about the lives of others, the more alone I feel.

Some have stories – many have stories – of such heartbreak that it tenderises my heart like a physical pummelling. The man from Palestine who cannot travel home; whose family he fears for on the Gaza Strip. There are tales of heroism – the mother who cares so diligently, so uncomplainingly, for a husband with Parkinson’s and four grown sons, expressing special compassion for the one who overcame addiction and psychosis. There are tales of blessings – the son who bought his parents’ farm in Pembrokeshire for a cut-price sum and now hopes to set up a local business in Wales. There are tales of contentment – how this job, covering football, is a joy and a hobby, it’s not like work. Tales of betrayal – the guy whose girlfriend told him a web of lies and nearly destroyed his faith in relationships.

I feel in – like roots delving into soil. Get a sense of the scent of their feeling, the chemistry of their emotion.

Like a vampire I suck some blood but unlike a vampire I am not nourished. Instead, it is as though I have these others’ feelings as harmless, mainly harmless, fellow travellers along with whatever it is that I feel. Whatever that is. Those others’ feelings have a reality more certain than mine.

Imagine, the stimulation of the optic nerves by the light outside the self – how that is more real than the inner imagining of any scene or vision.

What I sense from others feels like the real world of emotion. My own feelings may as well be counterfeit.

But what if I am just imagining their experience? What if what I believe to be real is a meta-illusion?

In such uncertainty, lives capsize.

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Dave J
Dave J
Dec 30, 2022

A song that's been with me for 50 years immediately entered my mind as I read your post; David Bowie's Quicksand. I've been sinking in the quicksand of my thought for most of those 50 years.

I'm the twisted name on Garbo's eyes

Living proof of Churchill's lies, I'm destiny

I'm torn between the light and dark

Where others see their targets, divine symmetry

Should I kiss the viper's fang?

Or herald loud the death of Man

I'm sinking in the quicksand of my thought

And I ain't got the power anymore

Dec 30, 2022
Replying to

Perhaps there's no way around the "reality" that we "imagine" each other's feelings. Some people have strong beliefs but some people are more ambivalent than others. I'm not good at imagining the feelings or thoughts of others so try to surround myself with people who I hope/imagine/guess are better and clearer than I am at expressing themselves in words and actions and who I feel I can trust -- that they are trying to be sincere/ truthful. And that helps -- but people and all lives are still a mystery to each other, aren't we? The Other. A lot of people say they are on the autism spectrum these days -- I probably am. How life feels to me. A…

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