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Loneliness

  • Life may be brimming over with experiences, but somewhere, deep inside, all of us carry a vast and fruitful loneliness wherever we go. And sometimes the most important thing in a whole day is the rest we take between two deep breaths, or the turning inwards in prayer for five short minutes.

  • ... she had encountered one of the more devastating kinds of loneliness in existence: that of being in close contact with someone to whom she was a nonperson, and who thereby rendered her invisible and of no consequence.

  • I think it's very important to be alone. Loneliness is just an idea that, I'm afraid, has something to do with self-pity.

  • I am learning to see loneliness as a seed that, when planted deep enough, can grow into writing that goes back out into the world.

  • ... there's no loneliness like the loneliness of people who are living together, and who don't belong together ...

  • ... it is better to be lonely than to wish to be alone.

  • ... loneliness is but a cutting adrift from our moorings and floating out to the open sea; an opportunity for finding ourselves, our real selves, what we are about, where we are heading during our little time on this beautiful earth.

  • ... loneliness is not a longing for company, it is a longing for kind. And kind means people who can see you who you are, and that means they have enough intelligence and sensitivity and patience to do that.

  • ... solitude is one thing and loneliness is another.

  • Loneliness is the poverty of self; solitude is the richness of self.

  • At any moment solitude may put on the face of loneliness.

  • ... solitude is that human situation in which I keep myself company. Loneliness comes about when I am alone without being able to split up into the two-in-one, without being able to keep myself company ...

  • There is no loneliness like the loneliness of a dead marriage.

  • It's when you have friends that you can afford to be lonely. When you know a lot of people, loneliness becomes a luxury. It's only when you're forced to be lonely that it's bad.

  • Alone is a fact, a condition where no one else is around. Lonely is how you feel about that.

    • Twyla Tharp,
    • in Twyla Tharp with Mark Reiter, The Creative Habit ()
  • I've been so lonely for long periods of my life that if a rat walked in I would have welcomed it.

  • ... lonely people talking to each other can make each other lonelier. They should be careful because lonely people can't afford to cry.

  • ... to comfort any mortal against loneliness, one other is enough.

  • A cat and a Bible, and nobody needs to be lonely.

  • Only in a house where one has learnt to be lonely does one have this solicitude for things. One's relation to them, the daily seeing or touching, begins to become love, and to lay one open to pain.

  • ... it is sometimes a little lonely to be surrounded everywhere by a happiness that is not your own.

  • Loneliness is the human condition. Cultivate it. The way it tunnels into you allows your soul room to grow. Never expect to outgrow loneliness. Never hope to find people who will understand you, someone to fill that space. ... If you expect to find people who will understand you, you will grow murderous with disappointment. The best you'll ever do is to understand yourself ...

  • It might have been lonelier / Without the loneliness.

    • Emily Dickinson,
    • in Martha Dickinson Bianchi and Alfred Leete Hampson, eds., Unpublished Poems of Emily Dickinson ()
  • ... married was the loneliest I got — being without the one you're with.

    • Jennifer Stone,
    • "Angst," in Dena Taylor and Amber Coverdale Sumrall, eds., The Time of Our Lives ()
  • ... for many people, loneliness was an experience of time. 'Not knowing what to do with yourself' was the way it was usually put.

  • The illusion of companionship sits waiting in the television set. We keep our televisions on more than we watch them — an average of more than seven hours a day. For background. For company.

  • One form of loneliness is to have a memory and no one to share it with.

    • Phyllis Rose,
    • 1984, in Nancy R. Newhouse, ed., Hers: Through Women's Eyes ()
  • Karl accepted, of course. Poor lonely chap, he would have accepted an invitation to a hanging if he could be with us.

  • To a heart formed for friendship and affection the charms of solitude are very short-lived ...

  • ... of all the deprivations which afflict humankind, none is more dreadful than loneliness. A corrosive, it eats the heart out. People were meant to live by twos, with someone close with whom to share good and bad, to hear breathing in the dark room at night. Being alone is the one unnatural act.

  • Loneliness is a terrible blindness.

  • I looked for a sounding-board and I found none. / The hearts that I called out to, remained stone.

    • Henriette Roland-Holst,
    • "I Looked for a Sounding-Board," in Joanna Bankier and Deirdre Lashgari, eds., Women Poets of the World ()
  • ... maybe the lonely places are the only things that make human beings of us all.

  • To be lonely seems to be a condition of epidemic proportions in America.

  • Python carries his loneliness in him as if he had eaten clay.

  • Tonight as always / There is no one to share my thoughts.

    • Chu Shu-chen,
    • "Alone" (1182), in Aliki Barnstone and Willis Barnstone, eds., A Book of Women Poets From Antiquity to Now ()
  • Loneliness is black coffee and late-night television; solitude is herb tea and soft music.

  • Loneliness is random; solitude is ritual.

  • The fear inside of loneliness: That only what others have is real.

  • I believe that it is sometimes less difficult to wake up and feel that I am alone when I really am, than to wake up with someone else and be lonely.

  • ... the sentiment of immediate loss in some sort decayed, while that of utter, irremediable loneliness grew on me with time.

  • The larger loneliness of our lives evolves from our unwillingness to spend ourselves, stir ourselves. We are always damping down our inner weather, permitting ourselves the comforts of postponement, of rehearsals.

  • The loneliness persisted like incessant rain.

  • ... your soul needs to be lonely so that its strangest elements can moil about, curl and growl and jump, fail and get triumphant, all inside you. Sociable people have the most trouble hearing their unconscious. They have trouble getting rid of clichés because clichés are sociable.

  • I do not know the speech / Of this cool land, / I cannot keep its pace.

  • Maybe the biggest problem with loneliness is that we walk around thinking we're the only ones suffering from it.

  • Loneliness is dangerous. It's bad for you to be alone, to be lonely, because if aloneness does not lead to God, it leads to the devil. It leads to self.

  • ... loneliness is the absence of love in one's life. Not idealized love, but loving oneself. I'm lonely when I'm out of harmony with myself.

  • A person can be lonely even if he is loved by many people, because he is still not the 'One and Only' to anyone.

  • ... he was seized by the sense of desolation that lies in wait for one, caught by nightfall, alone in a strange city. It stirs up a wild longing, not so much for any particular spot on earth, as for some familiar hand or voice to take the edge off an intolerable loneliness.

  • ... who hasn't slept in an empty bed sometimes, longing for the embrace of another person on the achingly short trip to the grave?

  • ... on a holiday lonely persons always feel their loneliness more keenly.

  • Loneliness is never more cruel than when it is felt in close propinquity with someone who has ceased to communicate.

  • But who can count the beatings of the lonely heart?

  • We have all known the long loneliness and we have learned that the only solution is love and that love comes with community.

  • Even quarrels with one's husband are preferable to the ennui of a solitary existence.

  • Loneliness is not simply a matter of being alone. Loneliness is the feeling that nobody else truly cares what happens to you.

    • Sister Pascalina,
    • in Paul I. Murphy, with R. René Arlington, La Popessa: The Controversial Biography of Sister Pascalina, the Most Powerful Woman in Vatican History ()
  • One should have the courage of one's loneliness.

  • Nothing so withers fear as examination. No one should ever be afraid alone. It is the worst form of loneliness and the most corrosive.

  • I am lonesome so regular it's like a job I gotta report to every day.

  • Never mind being over fifty. The heart is hungry a long time.

  • It is the privilege of loneliness; in privacy one may do as one chooses.

  • loneliness is a sign you are in desperate need of yourself.

  • ... I wasn't homesick for anything I would find at home when I returned. The longing was for what I wouldn't find: the past and all the people and places and cats that were lost to me.


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  • Guillermo was lonely and serviceable and always rushed in to do the things one wanted in a way one did not want them done.

  • It’s the loneliest people who love books the most.