There were things that burned away at me, not only as a private individual, but also as a citizen of our century, our pixelated age. What does it mean to be lonely? How do we live, if we’re not intimately engaged with another human being? How do we connect with other people, particularly if we don’t find speaking easy? Is sex a cure for loneliness, and if it is, what happens if our body or sexuality is considered deviant or damaged, if we are ill or unblessed with beauty? And is technology helping with these things? Does it draw us closer together, or trap us behind screens? ~Olivia Laing
You can be lonely anywhere, but there is a particular flavour to the loneliness that comes from living in a city, surrounded by millions of people. One might think this state was antithetical to urban living, to the massed presence of other human beings, and yet mere physical proximity is not enough to dispel a sense of internal isolation. It’s possible – easy, even – to feel desolate and unfrequented in oneself while living cheek by jowl with others. Cities can be lonely places, and in admitting this we see that loneliness doesn’t necessarily require physical solitude, but rather an absence or paucity of connection, closeness, kinship: an inability, for one reason or another, to find as much intimacy as is desired. Unhappy, as the dictionary has it, as a result of being without the companionship of others. Hardly any wonder, then, that it can reach its apotheosis in a crowd. ~ Laing
Loneliness is personal, and it is also political. Loneliness is collective; it is a city. As to how to inhabit it, there are no rules and nor is there any need to feel shame, only to remember that the pursuit of individual happiness does not trump or excuse our obligations to each another. We are in this together, this accumulation of scars, this world of objects, this physical and temporary heaven that so often takes on the countenance of hell. What matters is kindness; what matters is solidarity. What matters is staying alert, staying open, because if we know anything from what has gone before us, it is that the time for feeling will not last. ~ Laing
José Gervasio Artigas Arnal June 19, 1764 – September 23, 1850) was a national hero of Uruguay, sometimes called “the father of Uruguayan nationhood”. Artigas was a staunch democrat and federalist, opposed to monarchism and centralism.
With nothing on the horizon, and feeling rudderless, I booked a ticket to Costa Rica on Thursday and flew out four days later, on the Monday. I don’t really know what I’m doing here, or WHY I’m here, so I’m excited to find out.
Halfway through our life’s journey
I woke to find myself within a dark wood
because I had strayed from the correct path.
Oh how hard it is to describe
how harsh and tough that savage wood was
The very thought of it renews the fear!
~ Dante Alighieri, Divine Comedy
On the 5th, I finally pulled the trigger and booked the ticket, still not knowing at all why I was doing it, and then I read this on a friend’s IG page:
FEB 4/5th NEW MOON IN AQUARIUS
This is a time for cutting the cords binding us to anything that we know has been holding us back or where we are settling rather than thriving. It is also for making bold decisions that lead us to fresh new starts. – Alex Myles
I spent 4 days in this cool little city in September of this year and found as much street art, “organically,” as I could. By “organic,” I mean…explore the city on foot with no expectations and see what I could come across. I much prefer to document a city’s art this way, rather than researching addresses and trying to find particular murals. I’m sure that sounds odd, but it’s the way I like to do it. Please enjoy ~