" It’s that connection we all yearn for, in the lonesomeness of the duality of this life "
What is your experience of loneliness? It can be fleeting; maybe just the occasional unaccompanied evening, or it can be intense and drawn out, triggered by events like a relationship break-up, moving to a new city, or as children fly the nest. It can be felt alone or when surrounded by people. For some, loneliness is a default position, a protective state created by the ego – our thoughts and beliefs - to protect us from the hurts of the world.
In my first blog, I wanted to introduce The Japson Club’s lead character, and long-established loner; Anna. Emotionally withdrawn, she doesn’t share much of herself with anyone, her passage through life is with a sense of necessary isolation from those around her.
" She was a lone vessel and always had been "
And just through from a relationship break up, Anna is restless, the turbulence of emotional fallout sees her in a life transition. Everything is changing; she’s moved from the city to the beautiful Sussex countryside, her previously sluggish career is taking some interesting turns, and her social life is passing from gloomy hermitude, re-igniting as she arrives at Rosemount, the up-market equestrian club.
But Rosemount brings some challenges to solitude; there’s the annoyingly alluring Damien (sworn off men, Anna is determined to not get involved) and the oddly fascinating Andrew, another solitary being, and whatever he’s into, it’s sinister. And there is the clamour of new friends, all interested in her and urging her to join their shenanigans, which has her confused as to whether to dive in to her new scene or to seek refuge in her shell once again.
Little does Anna know, she is beautiful and fascinating to her friends and peers, a closed book, perhaps even a little stuffy, or ‘stuck up’...maybe she thinks she’s untouchable?
But she’s oblivious; grappling with her own life issues, with no comprehension of the interest she generates. As far as she’s concerned she’s out there alone. Life taught her to be self-reliant, and she knows better than to expect anything from anyone. Safe supportive networks are things other people have – perhaps people who are gregarious or good talkers, or people from happy families, but not her.
Trampling over her own better judgment, she finds herself embroiled in scandal and even crime, but her introverted survival instincts keep her from opening up to any of her well-meaning friends, and she is prone to obsessing and spiraling depressions as her thoughts circle relentlessly, doubt paralysing her before she nose-dives into apathy and depression.
Only the most assertive of Anna’s friends can ever get anything from her; friends like the psycho-analysing Francesca, and also the badgering Olivia, always thirsty for drama and gossip.
Only occasionally does Anna reach out, and only to the most trusted. Why should she tell the world her issues anyway? She knows that friends, never mind how well-meaning, are rooted in their own agendas, and also transient in life, aren’t they? How can they help?
" You’re a smart one, Anna...You’re very different to anyone I’ve met before. A bit of a lone ranger, aren’t you? I wonder if you know how strong you are? "
As she searches for answers and meaning, spirituality knocks at her door, through her friend Mateus. But he’s got a hard task as he patiently encourages her, kicking and screaming, along his Christian path. There are too many reasons to doubt, but thoughts and memories are coalescing and the coincidences, are stacking up. But is the church really the answer? Dogma gnaws at her… maybe it’s just one of the versions of the truth, and why does it torture her so?
Much of her soul searching is known only to the reader, who, riding along in Anna’s thoughts is audience to her internal wrangling. Wrestling with career, spirituality and the right thing to do, she is sucked along, overpowered by events and terror she had never imagined…
The Japson Club is coming soon, available on Amazon and other online outlets, available in paperback and e-book.
I'll be back next month with a new blog, pulling on another thread of the novel.