Friday, September 25, 2009

loneliness / solitude

solo post - L, Nikon

“Language... has created the word "loneliness" to express the pain of being alone. And it has created the word "solitude" to express the glory of being alone.” - Paul Tillich

I go in and out of both - pain and glory. I sort of hate to admit that (makes me seem weak), but this year is harder than last year for some reason. Has anyone else with college age children experienced this same feeling - that sophomore year is somewhat harder even than the freshman year. (I guess to relate completely you have to be a single mother of an only child.) The newness has worn off and it's so very real, now, that I am indeed alone. It's time to stop sitting on that wire, looking over the edge in fear, and just take flight.


julie king said...

i so remember that time when my daughter was off at college. the nest was empty and i just didn't know how to fill the void. it took courage and a lot of wind under my wings from loved ones to learn to fly again. you can do it, too. i just know.

Char said...

I never knew the sheer joy of having a child. But, I can imagine how hard it is to deal with the difficulty that comes with letting them fly too. I do know loneliness, though not as much since I've moved back home.


tami said...

I am experiencing the same thing this year. She is one year wiser and farther away - in ways.

I just bought the book "Traveling with Pomegranetes" by Sue Monk Kidd. It is about a mother and daughter and their travels and how they became closer. I'll keep you posted as I read it.

It is wonderful to see them soar and take off. Really, that's what we want - yet - it is difficult.

peachey said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
peachey said...

time for you to spread your own wings too, dear!

p.s. i love, love this photo.

elk said...

great metaphor image my is harder 2nd year, newness is worn off and a single mom has that true alone ness, I will be with you flying, in fact pop over and "perch" with me...seriously I am thinking of you on your journey this year

S. Etole said...

The space between your child trying their wings and later returning as your "adult friend" is an uncertain time for both ... but the reward is well worth the transition.

Jaime said...

I don't know what it would be like to have to watch your children fly from the nest...I imagine it must be so difficult! But I do know that no matter what, we all experience this universal feeling of loneliness at some point (or many points!) throughout our lives. I am someone who craves solitude on a daily basis so maybe I will one day end up living like a hermit, feeling very much alone in the world!
...but I like to think not. (I love connection just as much as I love my solitude.)

Your little girl will always be your little girl, no matter where she is in the world. You two have such a beautiful bond...she can't possibly go too far from you!


Anonymous said...


I wanted to comment on this when I read it yesterday, but I was too ill with a stomach bug to do more than read it and feel your pain. I'm better now and I hope what I'm trying to say will make sense.

As a single mother of an only child, I know exactly how difficult a path it becomes when you suddenly realize you are walking the path alone.

You may not remember a comment I left sometime last year about how I thought you were brave had a lot to do with my knowing that this time would come.

I knew there would be a time where no matter how close you and Taylor have been and WILL BE ...things would change...the difficult part is accepting how important it is for both of you that they do.

It goes back to that old saying about roots and've given her great roots and now she's using her wings, but remember the roots...she's not ever going to go too far from when she has been nourished, loved, and supported.

Since we're talking about birds and flying, remember birds migrate each fall only to return in the spring.

With your chick leaving the nest, it's time for you to do a little soaring of your own. Believe me, I know how hard it is..for me it was eased somewhat by returning to the dreams I had before I became a mother. I think how we handle our changing role as mothers is one more life lesson we model for our daughters.

I said something in your comment section last year that I think still fits.

"as mothers, we are always a part of the bigger picture even as we become secondary to the main action or central theme."

Big Hugs to you...Elizabeth

margie said...

my youngest is in his second year of university now. he was only nine years old when we lost my husband to cancer. needless to say he has been an only child in spite of having a sister twelve years older and two brothers ten and eight years older. the other kids have parented him along with me. i often feel tears stinging my eyes just thinking about him. my chest hurts, my heart aches and yet i am so happy for him that he is finally becoming his own person. you will be fine but more importantly she will be fabulous because of you. xo

Gayle said...

Oh, Leslye, I'm sending you hugs. My children are not in college yet, so I don't know what it is like. I think your other commenters said some very beautiful things.

Puna said...

My goodness, I want to give you a hug.

Relyn said...

I don't mean to lessen how you feel or the pain of being alone. I just want to assure you of what you already know. You are not alone. You will never be. He is always there. And so are we, dear friend. So are we. Not to mention, Taylor will always, always be yours. Always. No matter where she lives.

I love you, sweet Leslye.

smith kaich jones said...

Oh. I haven't stopped by for 2 or 3 days and I feel so bad. But what wonderful comments, what wonderful friends you have. I have no children, but I have been a child, and know that it feels a bit sad on the other end also. Perhaps the 4 years of college are designed with moms in mind as well as daughters - a slow weaning, one step at a time. I for one can't wait to see where you will fly.

:) debi

Woman in a Window said...

I feel it in waves even now,
even here.
But then there is the light,
there is the flight.


The photos on the left are taken by me, Leslye, the mother. The photos on the right are taken by my daughter, Taylor – unless otherwise noted. Comments are always welcome. thanks
If you care to visit, I, Leslye, have another blog - AutumnSun where I ramble around different paths and pleasures of my own.