Loneliness, a Sense of Isolation, and Desperation

Across the street from my home lives an old woman in a small cottage home. She is almost 80 years old, she has lived a long life full of friendship, dreams, losses, travels, many jobs, many homes, she has felt a lot, experienced a LOT. She still does experience, and love, and care for the world, and suffer; and live alone in a small cottage home.Now, she is ignored by her neighbors, her family, her community, she feels alienated, isolated–alone. Her wisdom is not valued. Like so many elders in our community she is safely kept away in a distant, remote dwelling, where her feelings and perspectives will not disturb our comfortable care-free existences.She wants, needs, TRIES to approach her neighbors to talk with them. But, they do not have time. We do not have time. I do not have time. Do not have time for her, do not have time simply to listen to her, so she can be heard, recognized, valued, loved.So I asked myself: “What do I have time for? What do I not have time for? What can I learn from this old woman? What can she learn from me? How do I want my neighborhood community to feel? I talk to the old woman across the street frequently, I stop when I am hurrying to get somewhere, I stop for her, and I stop for myself. She has taught me a lot, she is very wise, and has many stories she wants to share to illuminate truths about life, she is a Buddha. I wonder, “How many Buddhas are on my block?” I am grateful that I have met one of them, and I am grateful that she is my friend.This story is dedicated to my friend and neighbor–the old woman who lives in a cottage alone.

Comments Off on Loneliness, a Sense of Isolation, and Desperation