Part 4 of 8
Some outcasts might as well be alone on a distant planet with other aliens. Maybe an alienated soulthem isn't ? Some crime? Just misunderstood? Just different? Self-imposed?
- Alien? Renegade? Trouble-Maker?
- Iconoclast? Outcast? Fugitive?
- Vagabond? Bum? Derelict?
- Oddball? Exile? Gypsy? Vagrant?
- Displaced Person? Hobo?
- Refugee? Tramp?
- Persona Non Grata?
Can any parent actually envision their child learning some meaningful lesson by he or she being sent to his or her room no matter how egregious an act he? Possibly an archaic practice left over from an older less enlightened generation?
"You lied to me: go to your room."
"You hit your brother; go to your room."
"Your room is a mess: go to your room."
It always felt sadly ironic whenever I heard parents punish their child by sending hto his room. Whenever parents use separation or isolation as punishment, it is absurd, sad and almost laughable. And the child is may actually be thinking:
"Thank you, Mom and Dad, for sending me to my room away
from you who I can't stand to be around!"
Being sent to one's room is often exactly what the child desired ~ an escape from parental insanity and authority. So why would parents punish their children by sending them to where they feel most comfortable and safe - to their sanctuary? Maybe because parents think "time outs" or separations from family are undesirable. When, in fact, this approach is only undesirable from a parent's perspective. It may be exactly what a child wants. So the message the child gets may be "Punishment by reward." Maybe the punishment is the parents separating from the child because they don't have a clue how to deal with the situation appropriately. Maybe parental misjudgements cause some of the alienation.
When convicts are sent to solitary confinement as punishment, they aren't going to a comfortable place. Their punishment is much more severe and spartan, unless, of course, the inmate actually feels safer behind more security than being out amongst his or her prison peers. Most of us humans like being left alone, Isolating people away from others as punishment could be a blessing. It is not unusual to read about urban dwellers feeling their loneliest when surrounded by other humans.
Is maroon a lonely color?
I can just imagine reading the ironic National Inquirer headline:
Loneliness Amongst Others
attracting attention. Some of us so-social humans can't comprehend the joy of individual separtude.
Consider the fate of famous fictional castaways:
by Samuel Coleridge
In Coleridge's epic 1798 poem, a guest is waylaid on his way to a wedding by an old sea dog who "holds him with his glittering eye". This "grey-beard loon" tells him a long story about a voyage he once took that became cursed after he shot the albatross, the crew's good luck totem. There is some wonderful imagery as the mariner describes the ship entering a pitiless, parched landscape ("The very deep did rot: O Christ!") and his mates perishing one by one. Eventually, after a decidedly dark voyage of the soul, the mariner makes it back to land.
by William Golding
Golding's first novel describes the ghastly fate that befalls a group of British schoolboys when they are stranded on a desert island (Golding was a prep-school teacher when he wrote it). At first, the boys set about creating an ordered society, with the good-natured Ralph as chief. But a dissident faction emerges and seizes power. Ralph, together with his myopic sidekick Piggy, wants the group to concentrate on getting rescued; the other lot just want to hunt. The boys' descent into savagery symbolises mankind's innate capacity for evil.
by David Mitchell
The twice Booker-shortlisted writer's new novel is set in 1799 on the tiny island of Dejima, a Dutch trading concession off Nagasaki. The book follows Jacob de Zoet, a young clerk who becomes stranded when war between the English and the Dutch breaks out. It's a detailed, richly imagined tale thoughtfully examining clashing cultures. Dejima was the notoriously repressive Sho dynasty's one point of contact with the outside world and Mitchell shows how it became a portal for western ideas to be smuggled into Japan.
by Johann David Wyss
Inspired by the teachings of John-Jacques Rousseau, this 1812 novel is the wholesome saga of a family's 10-year sojourn on a deserted island. When the Robinsons' boat is shipwrecked, things look bleak, but the island is blessed with a cornucopia of natural resources and the brave family survives and builds a successful colony. Incredibly, the worst thing that happens is that their donkey gets eaten by a boa constrictor. When help eventually arrives, some of the Robinsons decide to stay put in their tropical paradise.
by Cormac McCarthy
Does being a survivor of global apocalypse qualify as being stranded? Not if the word implies having a normal life to get back, but yes if it means being marooned in a wholly unfamiliar and terrifying situation. McCarthy's acclaimed novel tells the story of a father and son who, following an unspecified global catastrophe, endlessly cross a ruined American landscape, assailed by gangs, "each other's world entire". McCarthy describes their plight in prose that soars, at its best, to remarkable poetic heights.
by Agatha Christie
Ten Little Niggers
, Christie's 1939 novel is the bestselling detective story of all time. Eight guests are invited to stay on an island, where they are entertained not by their expected hosts but by another married couple. They discover that the boat normally delivering supplies to the island has stopped arriving; then, one by one, they start being murdered. All 10 die, leaving a tantalizing mystery that Inspector Legge, with his customary ineptitude, fails to resolve.
I believe it best to leave the answering and explaining to those who have actually survived such an ordeal. but you can explore them here as anyone might search for answers and solutions on some isolated island.
Solitude can imprison some and free others. Sometimes when we feel most lost, we find ourselves. Some people restore their energy by being away from others.
Here are some intriguing articles on being alone and loneliness:
's solo experience is a standard element of each course. The solitude and break from the fast pace of the expedition allows for rest and reflection. With sufficient food and equipment, each individual sets up camp at a coastal site on their own for one or two days and nights, depending on the length of the course. Each solo site is chosen to offer as much solitude as possible, yet be within hearing distance of other group members. Each person will not travel during this time and will be mostly alone, however instructors will check on each occasionally.
soloist journalizing during her 3-day sojourn near Hurricane Island, Maine.
STRANDED ON AN ISLAND
Stranded on an island.
Sitting by the beach
Gazing the distant continent
Beneath the evening sun...
Away from civilizations,
Away from disappointments
Seeking to hide
Consoling myself in solace.
Stranded on an island.
Listening to the sound
Of waves ebb and flow
Soothing the stinging wound...
Envying the birds in the sky,
Envying their unmerited freedom
Free to be themselves,
And to a flock they still belong.
Stranded on an island.
Pondering for an answer
Before the swaying palm leaves
Dancing in the wind...
If indeed there is no one willing,
If indeed there is no home waiting
Just make me like the wind,
And teach me to find my peace:
Knowing not where I go
Never to demand, never to expect
Just going, flowing,
Making the best of my breaths
In the story You have given me
Until the day I'm home;
The home You long promised,
The place where I belong.
Wilson Khor W.H. @ Seymour Nightweaver
4th April 2013
We're a needy lot
Humans don't survive unless they have most of their needs met:
Maslow's Hierarchy of Human Needs
And now we have more needs: