Isolating ourselves from pain only leaves us lonely and unknown.

Mixed media: Recycled eyeglass frames, inks, bubble wrap over collage of monologue

©2009 Wendy Lew Toda

Monologue text collaged under bubble wrap:
“I have to hide in here, don’t you understand? This barrier between us makes me feel safe. Never mind that it also means I can’t see very well, but I am protected, thank you very much. That is the most important part. At first this was only temporary – a buffer I could put on or take off. But more and more of it started sticking to me. I didn’t mind – it felt comforting. I guess it just grew on me from there. I used to worry that I might suffocate, but I changed how I breathe and now it’s fine. I don’t. Breathe, that is. It is not really living, but I’m okay with that. Safety is primary. Living – really living – is too risky. So I exist in this state of suspended animation and nobody can get close enough to hurt me. It’s intentional interference that I throw out there so people will leave me alone. Sometimes I wonder if I have become the interference and lost my true self. Deep down, I am lonely and I do want to be known, but I’d be too exposed. So maybe it’s stuffy, but I’m staying here, wrapped up tight, sort of living, but not really. Certainly not *alive*. Maybe someday I will venture out, but not today. Probably not tomorrow, either, now that I think about it. Or even the day after that.”

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