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  • Writer's pictureRyder Lyne

The Guest House

. . .loneliness didn’t exist as a word or concept in our culture until the 19th century. It is not a coincidence . . .— This One Wild and Precious Life: The Path Back to Connection in a Fractured World by Sarah Wilson quoting historian Fay Bound Alberti, A Biography of Lonelinesshttps://a.co/hCOsExb


My she-shed

The studio apartment is designed simply with muted whites and browns. I enter the guest house on my nephew’s property and experience immediate relief.

“Why are you here?” asks my four-year-old great-niece who is looking forward to her vacation in Hawaii.

“To write the great American novel,” I reply, because I don’t know how to explain to her that I need space. 


Why do I need space?

I don’t know. But I love the guest house which my nephew and niece open to me when they leave town. 

The childhood noise that permeated our house when we first moved in together is subdued now. The boys remain out of sight most often. 

Only one is surly at dinner. And not every dinner.

COVID eliminated our exuberant social gatherings. 

Coincidentally, I rediscovered the book by Sarah Wilson which speaks to loneliness. I am not unique. Wilson presents the disturbing numbers showing that the world is suffering from loneliness. 


No spoiler here.

Read the book for the fascinating details. After outlining the source of systemic loneliness, Wilson asserts we need to be alone and connect with nature.

I write this from a deck among the pines near Flagstaff, AZ. It is partly cloudy in Illinois terms, cloudy in Arizona. There are great patches of blue allowing the sunlight through. Rain is expected, a great relief to this drought-stricken area. 

And I do not feel lonely. 


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