No 4: To feel seen

The formalities that we use when we speak to each other, often leave us conversing like strangers. In the last few years, I’ve succumbed to bouts of loneliness. I’ve learnt that this form of loneliness doesn’t arise from my relationships with others, but the estrangement from my core self. Is this something that everyone feels at points in their life? What can we know from this space? Does anything grow there?

When I wrote these poems, I had to leave every known structure that I usually take part in; meals, conversations, routines.  Even though I was ‘alone’ I felt a significant pulse of energy and connection in the place where I often feel a cool frontier of loneliness form. 

Maybe loneliness is a reminder that this constructed material realm isn’t all there is. Maybe we can see it as a gift. 

To feel seen 

To feel seen 
I had to spend 

A good deal of time
Hiding away
In my room alone.  


At first I was afraid, 
that my absence would leave a mark 
Of social indecency
Like a feeling that hurt,
And would somehow scar. 


 But then I learnt –  
I needed to meet  every part
That lived inside,
To know 
The others in my life.  

And it was in solitude
I met – 
The part that stayed silent 
When I talked, 
The part that kept living
When the rest  died.


The part that stayed in stillness 
as I walked – 
The parts that were frozen cold,
from being cast outside. 


And once I saw them
And listened to what each one wanted to say – 
I started to learn, 
Which  flavours they enjoyed
And when, 
What brightened them.

I heard
What yearned for 
My choices
And what was tired from being 
Numb and voiceless.  

And some come only 

when the rest of the world  sleeps, 
Where I slip into a place 
Where I can feel each part
And know each piece 
And I hold them in a place,
That no one else can heal, 

Until they’re home again, 
And each one becomes real 

Away 
From the place I’d locked them 
Up inside, 
So they know one day, 
That we’ll be alright.