Every word I set before me violates the thinking I want to venture, thinking I ask you to take up, knowing all too well that in asking I present you with a dilemma. To talk about loneliness is to disturb loneliness. Loneliness makes itself difficult to talk about, and, concomitantly, difficult to talk to. Its withdrawal is complete. Look. Already I've offended it. Is this reticence the only recourse loneliness has against thought? Is that the problem, that loneliness not only does not want to be spoken to, but that it does not want to be thought, not even in loneliness, not even in being desolate, in being able to say, in full conviction, "I am desolate." Cruel loneliness, because it's also the case that to be lonely is to be alone with one's thoughts.
I am forsaken. Wonder flees from the things of this world. The trees refuse understanding. Has wonder taken refuge in solitude? Solitude. I should hesitate to think that loneliness would be content to die in its own arms. Loneliness does not say "contentment" on its own. Yet neither does the impulse to fly into another's arms arise from loneliness alone. Such an impulse, with respect to loneliness, can only be a response. Loneliness doesn't do responses. Perhaps a philosophy of loneliness could only be like an invitation to a dialogue that couldn't be refused because it couldn't be responded to, an invitation as if from the dead.
Appearance disappears as appearance, disappearance behind disappearance. Loneliness remains as an unknownI ask that we resist thinking that we know what the unknown represents in order to appreciate the dilemma of loneliness, to contemplate the dilemma of loneliness a moment, just one moment, before discussing it. When I say "I know loneliness" I believe I'm speaking honestly, yet at the moment I can honestly say "I don't know loneliness." It resists being known. Does it merely resist being the object of a thought, destined for speech, perhaps, or does it resist knowledge as such? It has occurred to me that loneliness can only be known as a dilemma. That would mean, however, that loneliness would be open to being philosophically exposed as a dilemma, as an unknown that we can all remember, despite its turning its back on discourse. Could loneliness then only be approachable through philosophy? Not all discourses are equal. It needs to be said. Does loneliness preliminarily refuse every discourse, or just those directed at it? Those directed at exposing it as contradiction? Those may be the least able to speak to loneliness. At the same time, I feel that its contradiction, its stance against saying, means something.
Loneliness has a world, but it is an empty world. I risk contradicting myself. "Loneliness doesn't do responses." Yet its inwardness could be seen as a response to an emptying of the world, or to another movement of discourse away from a soul that has the auxiliary effectloneliness doesn't do auxiliary, it would isolated from that effectof emptying the world. I hesitate to note a difference between the manifestation of loneliness and the existence of loneliness if only because, in setting loneliness before consciousness in this way, in treating it as a thing that can be set before us, we risk talking about something else instead of loneliness, risk losing it in our very approach. Nevertheless I feel that loneliness wants to be talked about, that perhaps its suppression holds a secret to centuries of conversation. I see symptoms of a desolation, symptoms of a powerful it, though I may perhaps find that loneliness is first experienced as happening to me, or even as purely me happening to me. (Apparently now I am speaking of events in an inner world, an inner stage, and yet....) How do I feel about being separated from loneliness? Do my feelings about loneliness matter if they appear in an empty world?
Fragile, irrefragable lonelinessI've already said too much.