All posts tagged: existentialism

The Complex Relationship between Writing and Loneliness

Anyone who spends a good deal of time writing knows that it is a lonely pursuit. Nearly every other job has at least some aspect of socializing to it — even other creative jobs: actors exchange dialogue; musicians are often in bands or at least collaborating on songwriting; even painters, sculptors, and drawers can be in the same studio together. For the writer though, solitude is perhaps the single most important requirement to success. Especially when writing something long — be it a novel, a play, or a screenplay — there are so many loose parts spinning about in the writer’s mind that even the din of a café can be too much. Time locked away in isolation is precious. And yet the causality between writing and loneliness is misunderstood. Writing does not breed loneliness so much as loneliness breeds writing. People do not start writing because they want to be lonely; they start writing because they are lonely. There is nothing more terrifying than being alone with your own thoughts, weighing your existence, letting your problems spring up like weeds …

The Truths Only the Dying Know

As winter begins to shut down on us like the white lid of a box, so too death is shutting down on my mother, bringing an end to her story. Death is something we don’t give much thought to anymore. Besides for our loved ones, we pay little attention to people once they grow to a certain age, and once death comes to knock they have already practically disappeared from our society’s conscience. Meant to spur on a belief in God, medieval reminders of death – like the memento mori in artworks — lasted through the Victorian era as moralizing aides-mémoires that life is short and the afterlife is infinite. The Ash Wednesday proclamation, “Remember, Man, that you are dust and unto dust you shall return” attempted to convey the absolute lack of power humans have within the scheme of history. With death ever looming we should think about the afterlife.