Solitude Versus Isolation

When I was a child, I was deemed healthy. I lived at home with my parents and sister, got good grades, and lived what most would regard as a normal middle-class existence.

In high school, I believe I showed symptoms of depression. There was a period of time when I grew apart from my family and friends– this may have eventually led, at least in part, to my becoming schizophrenic.

In fact, I was always a fan of solitude.

But, where does one draw the line between solitude and isolation? What is the difference between being a child who liked to be alone, to daydream or read books, and a man in his thirties spending all day every day alone in an apartment writing music?

Degree, I suppose, is the difference.

That being said, I wanted to share a poem I wrote about my love of solitude:

“Norman”
A Poem By Thomas Park

Life goes by quickly
And there is much to do

Duties need attending to, and that is
Norman’s purpose

At work, they knew his birthday,
Threw a party (Had soda, cake)

All was well, though

A sense of mystery
Surrounded Norman

A shadow, perhaps a haze

No history, no libido
(Or that was muffled)

No sense of style

Khaki slacks, unironed
Pressed by the dryer

Brandless polo shirts
Of muted hues

Or perhaps it was

That Norman himself
Found certain things inconvenient

There’s too much truth in old stories
Fraternity hijinks
“Borrowing” Dad’s Car

Worse, Norman’s pivotal moment
Involved neither a parade nor award ceremony

It was the late 1970’s
Norman was curled in a ball,
In his pajamas
Near the heating duct
The family dachshund was by his side
The muffled sound of television
And parental voices
Were largely ignored, it was
A moment of blissful meditation

It was the best 5 minutes of Norman’s life

Author: mystified13

Sole member of Mystified and Mister Vapor.

2 thoughts on “Solitude Versus Isolation”

  1. Accustomed I grow. To talking like Yoda. Plus, speaking in monologue. Here’s part of it. A book, in solitude, offers escape. More and more, Internet (and anything on ordinary TV) inspire consumption. Not much escape. 1986 was my big break, in a way. Acquaintances, and strangers alike, started commenting. “Yo, smiley. What’s with the droopy demeanor, all of a sudden? How come so glum?” honestly, the answer seems to be in your post. If you can make art about it, you can probably endure it. I should heed Liam Clancy’s advice: “it’s never too late to start living”

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