Sign in | New here? Sign Up
A community of cancer survivors supporting each other.

Solitude and gratitude

I am talking to myself these days.  When my wife was alive, she would often tell me I talked more to myself than I did to her.  So I am used to talking to myself. 

There is a problem with that, however.  I need interaction.  My own voice just bouncing off the walls gets monotonous.  I need to hear other voices.   Yes, I do answer myself back sometimes, but, I need some other perspectives.  Even my wife would make comments from time to time.  Even if it was to tell me to stop thinking out loud.

I am lonely.  Not all the time, but ….the sound of the clocks on the wall gets louder at night.  The oil burner and the heat make more noise than I ever realized.  The walls and the roof creak on occasion. Sometimes I like the sounds.  They keep me company.  Other times I want to hear music, actual melodic music instead of the house talking to me.

Sometimes I think I am smelling things like food, or smoke from a cigarette, the scent of hand cream, something cooking, potpourri (yes, there is some of that around).  I call these my olfactory hallucinations. 

I am describing loneliness and quiet.  And sadness, and joy.  Oh, you didn’t pick up on the joy part yet, huh?  You have to listen with that third ear.  It is akin to the third eye in meditation.  The third ear helps you to listen BETWEEN the lines…and hear what may not be spoken.

Of course, sometimes there is only silence there. But, other times it may be soft, it may be subtle, it may be obvious or barely perceptible, almost imperceptible.  How do you hear joy?

I am not sure, I don’t know it well enough to teach someone else how to hear it yet.  I am learning.  I am learning how to hear it for myself.  How to feel it, how to see it and take it in, absorb it, let it ignite my cells.  How to embrace the sensation in my body.  I am more used to suffering.

You know, the aches of painful past memories, those I am conscious of and those that are below my conscious radar.  Some are just below, some are further below, some are buried deep and require serious patience and inquiry as to why they are still there.  What are they doing there?  How did they get stuck there, and since they are probably doing something that had a survival function at some point which is no longer serving the original purpose, how do I embrace it and allow it to shift?

Time for a nice deep breath, several actually.  Can I just be present with those inner beings, (usually it is a child from 3 or 4 or 5 yrs old to a teen or young adult, but more often than not it is a young child because young children are more easily damaged or traumatized), and accept them and start a dialogue with them?

That is what I am practicing.  Next week I hope I will gain some valuable guidance, that of a therapist who understands the language of communicating with those long untouched inner places.   So, in theory, if I embrace those inner children, there is a shift, a transformation of some sort, and a cultivation of joy. 

What a nice phrase, a cultivation of joy.  A cultivation of joy. A cultivation of joy.  Conjures up an image of gorgeously rich earth being mixed up and aerated and prepared for something delicious to be grown.  I can smell that earthy, aromatic flavor. 

I breathe in and focus on the joy of my breath, I breathe out and and am grateful for another day. I realize I need a balance of solitude, and meaningful interaction with someone who understands what I am going through.

3 people like this post.
3 people sent you a prayer.
3 people sent you a hug.
Sign in or sign up to post a comment.
I'm a new friend, Neal. I like the way you write and think, and I wanted to express my sorrow that you lost your beautiful, wonderful Emilee. May I suggest you read and chat with Marlys Johnson? You remind me of her and I reckon she'd understand only too well what you are going through. This is her blog:
Marcia likes this comment did you find Marlys'site, just is interesting....thanks
Thomas likes this comment
One of my friends on twitter retweeted a post from her blog entitled "One of your hugs would be nice right now" and I was intrigued I clicked the link and started reading :*)
I read that i know i cant read stuff like that without tears running down my face.... i liked it... she is less wordy than i am and short but very sweet with her words and descriptions... ie, she touched me with her words which didnt have to be lengthy and too involved...i imagine she does some edits of her original writing... anyway...the hugs.. yes... one would be nice right about now...then...later....yesterday...tomorrow...etc etc... I sent a comment and hope she will talk to me at some point... i see see pretty much answers all who respond to her...which is nice...time consuming, but nice....and she really replies...they are not just simple surface answers... thanks for sharing with me... who knows...maybe she will help me write my book that i want to you a wooof and high paw.... miss my wheaten terrier...died 3yrs ago...was 13..she was my therapist when i needed someone to listen and reflect back to tears), and my hugger/huggee anytime...she was very generous with those...brings up regret number 77...did not hug Emilee enough... vow...since i cant fix that... vow to hug more often..especially those that i feel close to...see what you did??? damn...sighhhhhhhh.....thanks
Thomas likes this comment
I'm glad you read the post, Uncle (I hope you don't mind me calling you that - I'm not supposed to call hoomans by their first name.) Marlys has written some great posts and gives pawsome advice, makes us pause and take stock of things. She reminds my scribe (Nan) to savour the time that we have, be kind to ourselves, help others along the way ... the list goes on. Nan often weeps when reading her blog posts but also feels a little more strengthened and pawsitive too. We were sad to read about your dog, Nan and me, and understand purrfeckly what she meant to you. And while you could never replace her, maybe another pooch will come into your life soon and dispense hugs freely again. Nan doesn't have many people she can hug so spends a great deal of time with her arms around us dogs *happy tailwags* But she does send many virtual hugs to online friends - and that's good enough .. a hug is a hug, we reckon :*)
thanks Thomas...I will check it out..and thanks for the compliment and the kind words about Emilee
Thomas likes this comment
Your posts have such lyrical prowess - you should write poetry. And something else: as somebody who has been in your exact shoes – albeit some years ago – I can assure you that peace most definitely can and will return. C.
thank you for...well.. .do you write? your phrase lyrical prowess...I just can't stop hearing that...very sweet of now, I must go see if you have written anything...and then will come back... I used to write poetry.... i have just been writing posts like these... thanks for the suggestion...
Thomas likes this comment
sometimes i lose half of what i write in these stupid boxes... it cut off a few sentences...i think i said something like.... i know...someday this will all be in my past... peace... sometimes i feel that... there is a lot of back and forth these days... some days are emotional upheaval and some are relatively calm... sort of like the waves on the ocean or the sound... depends on the wind, the tides, the weather... as long as i dont let go of my life preserver, and hang on tight, i manage to keep my head above water, at least......just some days i seem to swallow a lot of glub...cough...... have inspired me already.... (warm smile)
Thomas likes this comment
Corzaire.... no posts???? i was anticipating...after such a beautiful term...lyrical prowess... I was breathing quickly in anticipation of something...anything...ahhhhhh...dear lady... please be so kind as to write me something... a few more words... a poem of your own perhaps.... and if you do not wish to post... let me know...i am happy to share my email...and if you do not wish to write... then i am even more blessed that you took the time to comment... and most graciously take off my hat, and bow to you in that gallante sweeping gesture of a musketeer of the french persuasion who would bow to the not ask me where in the crazy caverns ....far reaches...of my sometimes deranged mind...that is coming just felt appropriate... so... please have a blessed day...and thank you one more time...for igniting something else in my brain.... joy...right in the mere spilling of these words out onto a me realize how when i am writing...i feel joy... this is bringing tears to my eyes... i am still discovering what things, what actions, what behaviors, bring me joy....and this is definitely one of them.... but your meager, sparse, terse comment...brought out all of this?????? hah...i must be maddddddddd....ohhh....or i forget to take my i dont take any pschoactive ones....cardiac...yes...I dont really need drugs...i have enough spinning around in my head.... ok... a proper ending to this would be.....ta da
Thomas likes this comment
Ahh, olfactory sensations.....I don't think they're hallucinatory.....I think they are real and you need to have them for some reason. I experience that more than anything. I smell the past a LOT. I smelled a perfume one afternoon, Pheromone, expensive and hardly anyone wears it any longer; my third grade teacher, Mrs. Wolf wore it. About a month later I met an old friend in TJ Maxx who told me Mrs. Wolf passed at 98 and since she outlived her hubs and son who never had kids, there was no one to host shiva! Keep doing the same as you're doing now Neal. God bless.
Thomas, Sabina like this comment
ok...i new pennsylvania...different mrs wolf.... i didnt like the mrs wolf that i had... i thought she was a little on the mean side..ok, alot on the mean side... i think i thought she was a witch....scary...especially after mrs reilly from 4th grade...oh my god...what a sweetheart she was...i loved her...i still remember sewing projects, and making marionettes... i made william tell...paper mache over a light bulb for his head...i kept that puppet for soooooo many years.... i never wanted to throw it many fond memories....terrible transition to mrs wolf....i think i had anxiety attacks that year...altho they weren't as bad as the ones I had in third grade... geez...what a neurotic now...was not funny then....
Marcia likes this comment
Yes, Pennsylvania. And I love NY, Michigan, Ohio and Missouri. Do you do any origami? My Mrs. Wolf was nice. My I went to 'sister' school though I'm not Catholic. Evidently, there would be more state aid if they employed one lay teacher. So Mrs. Wolf taught third grade, a Reform Jew, whose co-workers were 7 nuns! Very progressive for 1966-67!
that IS progressive for that time. Did origami many, many years ago....why did you ask?? Unless you read my facebook page, you probably don't know what i, an ultra ultra reform Jew..(my mom fwas conservative...very traditional...said kaddish DAILY at synagogue with my company, for a full year when my dad died in 1966)...did for Passover...for one, I explained the questions on my facebook page, thus fulfilling my obligation to tell the story..My ..I sang the questions in hebrew, recorded it, put it on my facebook is neal klein.... so you can look at it...just ask me to friend you... AND..i took the seder plate to my mother in law's whom I had dinner with... and explained to her, and the grandkids after they got home later, what the symbols are and why they have meaning TODAY for all people who are oppressed and suffering.... I must say, it is the first time in forever, that I made my own ritual, and made it meaningful to me and to my wife's memory (not jewish, protestant, but always felt a kinship and thought she had jewish blood in her)... so that was my response to my panicky feeling on Monday morning when i felt like I needed to do feel a part of a tradition, to give personal meaning to the holiday, to feel like a part of something that others were celebrating/remembering/commemorating...getting tired of being an agnostic jew... i better be may swing to the other side and become a cantor or some such thing...yep, my hebrew school principal thought I would be a cantor one day...yet another story to be told.. never know when someone's comments will evoke all these historic

anyway, thank you, for your words, for touching yet another part of my heart and initiating something else for me to didnt realize, lol, when you replied, a few sentences from you would cause this verbal diarrhea in is ok... I sort of have it under control.... kind of, sort of, maybe, maybe not...LOL..ahhhhhhhhh.... I need to go take a walk... I promised myself I would

that sent before i was ready to least i didnt lose it... where there is a MY... supposed say...MY part of the family is son and family on long son and wife in brooklyn brother just moved 2 yrs ago to florida... so anyone one with a jewish connection is not around here...Em grew up in a protestant church, which is where her service was...and i havent been back since her service...but i may go... i need some immodium???????
You know what it is? Me neither, really. I think I am getting addicted to writing. I guess that is a good addiction. Although I am not sure any addiction is really good. I would rather make it a good habit, a joyful habit, rather than an addiction. But I imagine a good addiction will do for now....and may or may not keep me out of trouble. I need to start setting some boundaries, because I am staying up too late, writing and not eating my breakfast a little while after I get up in the this morning I did not eat until after 1pm, but I was not hungry...I was so involved in trying to find a therapist...I got excited when I found someone that sounds good on paper, and wrote her a brief
a brief.....ahem....synopsis of my current neural to a lay person, that may be bizarre...hopefully she is used to reading convoluted hieroglyphic depictations of a brain that is NOT on drugs...I gave her a piece of my mind....I just hope she is kind enough to give it back....we shall see...and don't you worry about me...I am on auto pilot.... I took a walk....I scheduled someone to come look at my decrepitating fence....I wrote to a therapist...I spoke to social security....I called my health insurance...and after they passed me to exaggeration ...6 different people..and after each one I had to go thru the same 5 voice prompts...I tried to yell at them with all the diaphragm that I have, but each time I started to yell at someone they put me back to the voice prompts.... the volume on their end kept getting softer and softer...and softer...and soon...I couldn't hear what they were saying anymore....I was so confused as to whether I should laugh or cry....but it wasn't worthy of any I just yelled some more and then I was still on hold, I got another call on my cell phone (I was on the house phone), and I was yelling at the guy on the phone not realizing how F'g loud I was talking...and when I apologized, he told me his wife was on the phone for 5 hours with their health insurance company, so he understood. I did get a good laugh out of it with him on the phone.....and so it goes... I called a health insurance broker and got the answers I was looking for right away...first, he answered the phone right away...and in fifteen minutes I had the info I needed.... All in all... I guess I managed to get a few things accomplished today...any body reading this think I am just a tad off the wall, raise your hand.....ha...I can't see your hand there.... but hugs accepted graciously and given in return
that is wild....about the perfume...and... i had a mrs wolf in 5th grade....
did everyone have a mrs. wolf????? mine was PS 92 in Brooklyn, NY....i assume you did not grow up in NY...did you???? thank you...for sharing that....and yes...the smells?...they seem exquisitely really feels a bit strange at times...but I just shake my head, say, okay...I smell that...for whatever reason
Thomas likes this comment
Sign in or sign up to post a comment.

Vital Info


February 10, 2017

North Haven, Connecticut 06473

In Memory of a Loved One

Cancer Info

Pancreas Cancer

Stage 4



New Here?

Sign up to comment or create your own blog. Already a member? Sign in