Ethos Lounge

Loneliness
farlightsaga at 7:39PM, June 20, 2007
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Ethos has a lot of themes. Which are all basically topics that I as a writer and as person wanted to explore. One of those topics is loneliness. Or rather to be alone. It's a topic that has of course gotten a great deal of conversation in other works. Can't think of the example that this is coming from, but I am sure most of us have heard the example: “We're born alone and naked…then die alone returning to nothing. Or some paraphrase like that.

The exact quote isn't so much important as rather the theme is. Aminta is in many ways this expression of the idea of isolation. She has been hurt by world. Twice over her family has been violently taken from her. And her reaction was to hide away from the world. She created a pocket reality within her own soul where her consciousness could hide while her flesh wandered the world in a waking coma. Alive but not. Awake but not.

”Mother is the First Other.“ That's a quote that I want to attribute to Sigmund Freud, but I can't find a citation for it, so lets just say it is of a Freudian line of thought.

Basically, what it constitutes is that the first expression of reality that we know as children. The first definition of ”Self“ comes from our interactions with our mothers. Because for the first time we recognize that we do not exist alone is when we interact with them.

Now with the context of Aminta, it's really interesting because with the death of her family at such a young age, she has lost the very foundation blocks that attach her to reality as we collectively share it. Her very definition of reality has been shattered, and she is barely holding on to it anymore.

A work that really influenced me as a young creator was Neon Genesis Evangelion by Hideaki Anno. It was his stories that first got me interested in Freud's work. I was such a big fan of Anno that when the Laser Disk collection of the Evangelion movies came out in Japan, I imported the big box set. And on one of the covers of this collection, above the image of one of Eva Unit 02 was this big bold Print:

”Love is Destruction“

That made me stop and think for a long time after I first read that. Because I couldn't understand it, yet something seemed so true about it. And then finally it clicked. To love, to not be alone meant risking being hurt by those you allowed close. And it meant that you might just hurt those you loved back.

To love someone was to mean that you were willing to hurt them because to be human was to mean to be flawed. And to be flawed was to be capable of doing wrong. But how can you dare to hurt someone if you truly love them?

And of course the reverse is also true. To be loved meant you were willing to be hurt by those who loved you.

This whole line of thought was very influential in Aminta's story. She is alone because everyone she cares about is dead. But she is also alone because she is afraid of hurting or failing anyone else. And she is afraid of being hurt.

She fled from the world for a time because she couldn't bare being hurt any more. She chose, at least on some level, to exist alone in her own world then to risk being hurt by anyone else ever again.

And so she is truly, utterly alone.

Okay, that was a lot of rambling heavy thoughts. All about just the theme of ”Being Alone".

So, now after all that the real challenge is up to you guys. What are your stories when you think of being alone? What does it cause you think of or remember? I'm asking for you to be brave and talk to us here even though you now risk destruction for daring to make the connection.

Do you speak or turn away? :)


-Jared
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:26AM
warofwinds at 9:49PM, June 20, 2007
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The interesting thing about loneliness is that you often recognize it in other people, but not always, and sometimes never, in yourself. It's also easy to be alone when you know there are people who love you standing by and waiting.

I'm a lonely kinda ‘gal. Don’t like company. I often daydream about living in the rockies with no neighbors for miles and miles–but with people, contact, always within reach. And that's what makes me laugh at myself. Unable to establish human contact ever again would be a certain type of hell, I suppose, and true loneliness isn't something anyone wants, it's gotta be thrust upon them. Like your character, I think.

Bah, these kinds of thoughts are too deep for 1 am.
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:26AM
farlightsaga at 7:03AM, June 21, 2007
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Ah, but the middle of the night can be some of the best time for deep thought. When there is a rytham to the world that doesn't invovle worry or stress. When it is silent enough for each of us to think, but not so distant that we still can't feel a connection to it.

Or at least that's my excuse for some times being up late. ;)

Anyway, thanks for commenting Kez and for being the daring first one. ;)

But you are right. No one seeks out to be a loner. But if it is thrust upon them, then it can become…adjusted to it? Because it becomes something that we know how handle. Kind of, better the Devil you know instead of the devil you don't.
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:26AM
warofwinds at 10:15AM, June 21, 2007
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Ah, so, hour-before-sunrise thoughts then. That time, right before the sun rises? The quiestest, most still time imaginable. Sometimes the wind doesn't even dare to blow, and it's oddly warm. THEN the birds start squawking. ><

I stay up late a lot now that the semester is out, hehehe.

Loneliness is definitely something to which one becomes adjusted. I think of it more like a familiar weight, one that while at first is heavy, the more you walk with it, the less cumbersome it becomes and the more a part of you. Of course you'd resist dropping that weight because it's now like another limb, and you'd have to start all over again knowing yourself if you ever let it go. Rather than reveling in the feeling of relief, you'd fear the change, forgetting the change it took to get where you are.

ACK, deep thoughts at noon? Forbidden. *goes to watch star trek*
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:26AM
farlightsaga at 8:40PM, June 21, 2007
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Hehe. Yeah, I am so a night person myself. I do some of my best work during the night. But then it doesn't help that life needs us to be awake during the day. Really, life impacting the needs of the writer! What is the world coming to! ;)
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:26AM
Zaulche at 5:39AM, Aug. 1, 2007
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Ah night people. My girlfriend is also a night person. I myself am more of a morning person, though I have been a night person before, it all depends on the situation. Is it possible to be both a morning and night person? Maybe an all day person? If only they let you take midday naps at work.

Regardless, with theme of this thread, it is somewhat open ended, so it is hard for me to completely grasp what you want us to share, but I will make an attempt and we can go from there.

As far as loneliness, that is something I can relate to, as I am sure just about everyone can. I was told by my mother that many people who knew me as a kid referred to me as the little old man (similar to one of your characters actually I believe. Was it Tal? I am not sure). I always got along better with people older than myself, but growing up you spent most of your time with your peers at school, or at home with family, so regardless of how many people were around I generally felt disconnected from others. I recall being the solitary kid in Elementary school sitting by the wall reading a book while everyone else was playing games.

The thing is, although I was lonely, I never felt alone. My parents separated and eventually divorced when I was 10, so for many years I lived with my mother and younger sisters, helping out with whatever I was able to do. I lost my innocence, as you say in the story, at a young age, yet I never realized it was gone.

It was not until my mother remarried a few years ago while I was in high school that I realized what had happened. I had grown up rather quickly, skipping many adolescent stages of growth in order to help my family. Then, when there was another provider for the household I was not needed anymore. Sure I still helped out, but my role was no longer one of necessity, and I think it was at this point that I truly started to feel alone.

In fact, one of the things that kept me out of severe depression was happening upon Evangelion. I thought it was interesting that you mentioned that because it is my favorite Anime, for the very reasons you describe. When I watched it I no longer felt alone because I knew that there were people out there that understood what I felt, that knew what life was truly like.

I agree with your statements about love. That is why it took me so long to find a soul mate. If you remember the Hedgehog's dilemma that was talked about in Evangelion it fit me perfectly. I was the wallflower, observing life form afar, but never getting involved. It is true that I did not want to be hurt, but I think the want to not hurt others was even greater. It was that fear of rejection that probably kept me lonelier then I ever had to be, but I was never one to take chances.

Regardless, at college I met some people whose wisdom had a profound effect on me. I am able to enjoy life more, and have a better understanding of how, even when I felt so alone, I was never truly alone. It was just easier to ignore everything else and pretend that I was. Which is something that I always wondered. Why do people, in general, prefer to wither away inside themselves then admit that they need help and get on with enjoying life?

Anyway, my apologies for such a long post. I had no intention of making this a life story or anything of that nature, but perhaps a little background of how I have related to your characters can help you understand where I come form in future discussions.

As far as an answer to your original question, I would have to say that I turned away for two decades, but now I am prepared to speak, because I no longer fear rejection. In fact, fear as a driving force for actions is also something you mentioned in your story, is it not? It seems like you have taken parts from my own life and made them into a story. I suppose being able to say that I connect to your story on a deeper level is a recognition of your outstanding talent and abilities. I look forward to what the future holds for once.
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:26AM

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