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Friday Musings: Togetherness can be lonely

Yvonneby Yvonne DiVita

A good friend of mine, Bruce Peters, sent me a link to a blog post he called "eloquent." A lonely post. A post with amazing clarity - written with perspective, by a 22 year old author.

On this day, this Friday at the end of a tremendously busy week preparing for the BlogPaws conference, I took a minute to read this post again...and to reflect.

The Opposite of Loneliness

"We don't have a word for the opposite of loneliness, but if we did, I could say that's what I want in life," wrote Marina Keegan on CrossCampus. "What I'm grateful and thankful to have found at Yale, and what I'm scared of losing when we wake up tomorrow and leave this place."

She's writing about graduation. The passage of time. The feelings of a young woman about to embark upon the unkown.

How many of us remember those days? Back when four years of our lives - lived within a small community of 'friends', professors, various business people who wandered in and out of our classrooms, and a family member or two - was abruptly coming to an end. Yes, the word is abruptly. Because no matter how much you prepare for it, when it happens, you're left... with a certain level of ... loneliness. I think.

I remember. But, my world was different than the one Marina describes. "In the heart of a winter Friday night my freshman year, I was dazed and confused when I got a call from my friends to meet them at EST EST EST. Dazedly and confusedly, I began trudging to SSS, probably the point on campus farthest away. Remarkably, it wasn’t until I arrived at the door that I questioned how and why exactly my friends were partying in Yale’s administrative building. Of course, they weren’t. But it was cold and my ID somehow worked so I went inside SSS to pull out my phone. It was quiet, the old wood creaking and the snow barely visible outside the stained glass. And I sat down. And I looked up. At this giant room I was in. At this place where thousands of people had sat before me. And alone, at night, in the middle of a New Haven storm, I felt so remarkably, unbelievably safe."

Sadly, at no time in my college years did I feel...safe. But, this is not about me. It's about Marina, and the words in her post that will live on, growing along our senses, those of us who read her post, tickling our thoughts like green, soft ivy. Words that will echo in the hearts of her friends and professors, long after the moon and stars have risen over Yale - bringing the end of one moment in hundreds of lives, while beckoning the morning sun in others. The wonderful sentiments passed on by this amazing young woman, saying, "We're so young. We're so young. We're twenty-two years old," a realization seldom voiced by those of her tender age...  profound in its admitting.

I muse on this today, with tears in my eyes, full of memories from those dim days of yesterday and the loneliness in my life back then - and wonder if togetherness is the opposite of lonely, and if, in togetherness, loneliness still touches you when... you remember.

The piece referenced here was written by Marina Keegan '12 for a special edition of the News distributed at the class of 2012's commencement exercises last week. Keegan died in a car accident on Saturday. She was 22.


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Veronica Roth

Yvonne, I'm completely speechless. I can’t find the word after reading your tribute and Marina’s writing, especially since I completed a second degree recently. How sad that a young life has been cut so short, and what a profound effect her writing seems to be having. I’m sending the link top my 20yr old 2nd yr uni CMNS daughter. Thank you for this; it makes me want to hug my kids a little tighter.

Carol Bryant

Whoa, this is even more powerful to me now and more poignant. The ending, how truly tragic. And these words will live on...

Bruce Peters

Thank you so much for writing about her and this. When I forwarded
to you I knew you would want to write about an do so eloquently.
I spoke on our radio show today about the 1970's book by Philip Salter "The Pursuit of Loneliness". One of his these back then was that our dogged pursuit on Independence would be our undoing as a society.
Marina Keegan's reminder is the importance of community and each other. Would have been a prvilege to know her.
All of this reminds me, also, that Margaret Wheatley once reported on the school that had over the entrance way.
Take care of yourself
Take care of this place
Take care of each other.
Thank you.....

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