I was lonely, deadly lonely. And I was to find out then, as I found out so many times, over and over again, that women especially are social beings, who are not content with just husband and family, but must have a community, a group, an exchange with others. Young and old, even in the busiest years of our lives, we women especially are victims of the long loneliness.It was years before I woke up without that longing for a face pressed against my breast, an arm about my shoulder. The sense of loss was there.I never was so unhappy, never felt so great the sense of loneliness. No matter how many times I gave up mother, father, husband, brother, daughter, for His sake, I had to do it over again.Tamar is partly responsible for the title of this book in that when I was beginning it she was writing me about how alone a mother of young children always is. I had also just heard from an old woman who lived a long and full life, and she too spoke of her loneliness
Friendship is not a remedy for loneliness. Loneliness is part of our experience, and if we are looking for relief from loneliness in friendship, we are only going to frustrate the friendship. Friendship, camaraderie, intimacy, all those things, and loneliness lived together in the same experience.
Loneliness is like sitting in an empty room and being aware of the space around you. It is a condition of separateness. Solitude is becoming one with the space around you. It is a condition of union. Loneliness is small, solitude is large. Loneliness closes in around you; solitude expands toward the infinite. Loneliness has its roots in words, in an internal conversation that nobody answers; solitude has its roots in the great silence of eternity.