It is very strange being a writer-artist and a scholar-activist and also trying to be human at the same time. I feel as though part of me is being pulled in a very lonely direction. When I immerse myself in my work, research, characters, plotlines, or historical narratives, I am so happy I literally feel high for a time. But it also requires that I leave the real world for awhile. Phone calls get dropped, activities are missed, birthday are forgotten. And before I know it, a week has passed, so has the high, and my personal relationships are in the gutter.
Lorraine Hansberry wrote:
“Eventually it comes to you: the thing that makes you exceptional, if you are at all, is inevitably that which must also make you lonely…” (May 1, 1962)
I am lucky that there are a few people in my life who know this about me, and who accept it as the price of being in my family. I am thankful they are far more accepting of me than I am able to be of them, or of myself.
It is still bracing to transition between the two. High to low. Crowded (with people long past or people living worlds away in my head) and then alone.