I have two distinct memories of my childhood.

My parents work meant that they’d be transferred every so often & we’d move. The first memory is as a student who kept changing schools, & being picked on by every new group of classmates. It would take a while until I had somehow become one of them, at which point it was time to change schools. Again.

The other was much more fun: meeting new kids who lived nearby, making friends, getting into all sorts of mischief. Some of them are still in touch.

Connecting with other humans has seemingly come easily to me. The Internet has made it even easier to do so. It gives me great pleasure, knowing fully well that while they’re not deep friendships, they’re not superficial either. I remember things about people*  I don’t find it hard to reconnect when something relevant to the person comes to my attention either.

There’s no big reveal here for you, if you’re reading (thank you if you are). It’s just becoming apparent to me that a lot of people struggle with reaching out, even to their friends. Lockdowns are making it even harder to do so.

I’m grateful for this little big gift of easy connection, & for the wonderful conversations I have had today with three – until a few hours ago – strangers.

*It might be a superpower, and sometimes it does feel strange that I do remember little things, as a good friend told me recently!

The loneliest human being – Al Worden [Interview]

Seven men in the history of humanity stand apart from the rest of us. These are the Apollo command module pilots who spent time alone in orbit around the Moon, while their colleagues walked on the lunar surface. When they were on the far side of the Moon, these astronauts were completely out of contact, and further from Earth, than anyone had ever been before. Or has ever been since. Discover the difference between being alone & loneliness in this fascinating interview with Apollo 15 command module pilot Al Worden

Isolation is unhealthy (as if we didn’t know that already) [Article]

Yes, we did.. but just how much impact does it have? While exploring this crisis of loneliness in the Western world, Judith Shulevitz writes about the inspiration behind the book, the movie  & the song “I never promised you a rose garden” – therapist Frieda Fromm-Reichmann who:

“figured that loneliness lay at the heart of nearly all mental illness and that the lonely person was just about the most terrifying spectacle in the world.”

Makes for great weekend reading.