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With Strength I Burn
11-13-2010, 03:42 AM
It was bound to be asked. Well, I have none, and I'm not really close to my family. I'll probably learn Finnish in order to move into Finland. I'll probably become a scientist and a heavy Zen practitioner... I want to merge with the icy bleak landscape and live alone.

Here is fitting music:
Woods of Ypres - Distractions of Living Alone - YouTube

hopfrog
11-13-2010, 04:27 PM
My books are my friends.....and the shadows.....and the wind......

gveranon
11-13-2010, 06:09 PM
I was somewhat sociable when I was younger, but since my mid-twenties I've pretty much been a loner. I'm in my mid-forties now, and little has changed for me in that interval except getting two decades older. I have the same low-level job, the same small apartment, and the same narrow range of solitary interests and habits. I haven't had what could be called a social life for so many years that I've quite frankly forgotten how, if I ever really knew. Sometimes I feel a little bit sorry for myself, but then my craving for solitude comes around again, and I realize how much I've escaped. Then I feel lucky and free . . . as free as a wage-slave can be.

By the way, Fernando Pessoa's The Book of Disquiet is a great evocation of the life and reveries of a loner. The book is a collection of the prose-poetic journal entries of "Bernardo Soares" (a Pessoa heteronym), an assistant bookkeeper in the city of Lisbon, a man who lives a life of quiet detachment. But describing the book in these reductive terms doesn't even begin to do it justice.

"For those like me who live without knowing how to have life, what's left but renunciation as our way and contemplation as our destiny?"
-- Soares/Pessoa, trans. Richard Zenith

MadsPLP
11-13-2010, 07:47 PM
I'm pretty popular on the social scene.
That doesn't spare from the anxiety that I get when I think that they don't really like me.

Dr. Bantham
11-13-2010, 10:23 PM
All friends are imaginary. Beyond this, all of mine are lost to chance, choice or ruin. I speak beyond the space of wife and children, as it has become us against all.

Of course, I consider many of the abstracts I discern within the bit-stream of TLO to be friends as best I can manage the term, but even then I am the lessor between. My absence of late being more or less none the less, unless you have not noticed otherwise.

Murony_Pyre
11-13-2010, 10:45 PM
Some notes:

It is significant that the question asks merely "do you have any friends?" Not "do you want any friends?"
or "how many friends do you have?", etc.
Although, I would consider myself a loner who could perhaps do without family and friends, I've actually had quite a few friends in small numbers (usually no more than 2-3 at any one time), though with strong associations, over the years.
All the friends of my youth have departed and I sometimes think of my life like a revolving door with people coming and going and no one exactly getting stuck in the between. I would like to see some of them again one day but it isn't imperative that I do so.
Every parting in life is a kind of death I needn't to be destroyed by, though.
My greatest fear is of losing my memory;
if I didn't remember, I wouldn't be destroyed.

qcrisp
11-14-2010, 07:16 AM
Appropriate to this thread, I think, are the following:

Morrissey - My Life is a Succession of People Saying Goodbye - YouTube


http://www.phespirit.info/momus/20030115.htm

Personally, I think that philia is one of the few things I've found myself able to believe in more rather than less.

However, I do have a feeling that this is a value that people are less and less able to comprehend as time spent with other people for its own sake is seen as a distraction from business and computer-enhanced private fantasy worlds. Perhaps like marriage, if people are abandoning friendship so readily one may wonder if people ever really lived up to the promises of friendship in the first place.

Over such questions the cynic and the person of faith (not necessarily related to creed) argue endlessly.

Freyasfire
11-14-2010, 10:08 AM
I have only a couple of very close friends, who I have known since I was quite young, and who have tenaciously stayed in my life even when I was at my most distant. Sadly, I have very little in common with them, but I still enjoy seeing them, even if our visits are few and far between.

Apart from that there is my boyfriend, who, although I have been with him for over eight years now, I can not see myself living with any time soon.

And then there are some familial obligations, which are for the most part unpleasant.

I find that I find myself the most content usually when I am alone, and following my solitary pursuits.

Soukesian
11-14-2010, 02:09 PM
At the risk of breaking an emerging misanthropic consensus, I do like to get out for a bit of a cavort, down on the street where the faces shine, and so forth. Nevertheless, although I suppose have a wide circle of friendly acquaintances, I'd say I have just a handful of really close friends. I think that's how it is for most people. Couldn't do without 'em though.

gveranon
11-14-2010, 03:27 PM
Personally, I think that philia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philia) is one of the few things I've found myself able to believe in more rather than less.

However, I do have a feeling that this is a value that people are less and less able to comprehend as time spent with other people for its own sake is seen as a distraction from business and computer-enhanced private fantasy worlds. Perhaps like marriage, if people are abandoning friendship so readily one may wonder if people ever really lived up to the promises of friendship in the first place.

Over such questions the cynic and the person of faith (not necessarily related to creed) argue endlessly.

In my case, I think this has more to do with psychology than with sociological trends or technology. I have a (possibly inherited) propensity for deep introversion, and I'm ill at ease in social interactions. The introversion was always there; the lack of social ease became more pronounced as I got older.

I am somewhat cynical; you're right about that. But I'm not an utter misanthrope; there are people I have friendly feelings toward -- at a distance.

Derek
11-14-2010, 05:35 PM
"Those friends thou hast, and their adoption tried,
grapple them to thy soul with hoops of steel,
but do not dull thy palm with entertainment
of each new-hatched unfledged comrade."

Hamlet act 1, scene 3

EemeliJ
11-14-2010, 07:27 PM
I do have a few who have stayed quite close friends with me, currently I'm living with two of them. Thank goodness, three rooms means privacy and solitude when needed.

Also, in the coming two months or so, I'll be doing my army service at a town up north from my place (Sodankylš that is, not a town near the northern border though) and I'll be seeing quite a lot of people I considered friends some years back. Suffice to say, I wonder whether anything has changed.

"Those friends thou hast, and their adoption tried,
grapple them to thy soul with hoops of steel,
but do not dull thy palm with entertainment
of each new-hatched unfledged comrade."

Hamlet act 1, scene 3

''O, I am slain!''

act 3, scene 4(?)

When_MP_Attacks
11-15-2010, 06:59 PM
I tend toward misanthropy, and used to dream of getting rich so I could establish a comfortable hermit's existence. Then I had the experience of becoming quite sick (keeping me from going out) while living in a city where I didn't know anyone. This isolation amplified the effects of the illness and made me realize how equilibrating even light social interaction--exchanges with the dry-cleaner, barber, etc.--had been for me.

Still not a people person, but have learned I'm not an island either.

Andrea Bonazzi
11-17-2010, 07:38 AM
You can verify if you have true friends when you are in real distress, like to find yourself abruptly "on the road" as an homeless, and exhausted, until the verge of suicide. A life of friendships vanished in nothing, an unveiled illusion just like all the rest of you existence.
I'm a lot more cynic and misanthropic since then.

DoktorH
11-17-2010, 11:17 AM
I have friends for a certain value of "friend." close, good friends I'd turn to if i was on the street and desperate? No, but i do have family I can count on if things get that dire (or, if i can see it coming, before it reaches that point). in terms of people I can socialize/party with on occasion, I have a few.

Like a lot of the other respondents, I tend towards misanthropy and introversion, and these things have only increased as I have gotten older. in my teens and early 20s, I desperately wanted close friendships and a lot of interaction, but I was a misnathropic introvert back then too.

Thankfully, the people I wanted to be close to weren't very good companions, so things only got better for me as they dropped out of my life.

The New Nonsense
11-17-2010, 07:07 PM
I'm a pretty socialbe guy, thus I have a large number of friends -- depending on how you define the term -- though people I would call 'close friends' are few.

My group of friends is sort of like an cross-section of the earth (core, mantle, crust). A few of my oldest friends (some I've known since I was 7. I'm 35 now.) constitute my solid 'core' friends. These are people I'd take a bullet for, and I suspect we'll still be friends when we're very old.

A much larger group fills up that 'mantle' space. These are friends from very diverse groups who I've known for a while, mostly since college, who I hang out with here and there when convenient.

The final group, the 'crust', is a thin group of friends that have moved far away. Often these are friends that I haven't seen in years but still maintain contact.

I'm not counting "FaceBook friends". I don't do any of that stuff.

Dr. Bantham
11-17-2010, 07:33 PM
I'm not counting "FaceBook friends". I don't do any of that stuff.
Today is National Unfriend Day. Go forth and purge.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sc5bbz5SB7M

DJ Persposki
11-18-2010, 10:49 AM
It was bound to be asked. Well, I have none, and I'm not really close to my family. I'll probably learn Finnish in order to move into Finland.

Welcome. It's cold and raining wet snow here in the capital as I write this.

Tsalal Akbar
11-19-2010, 09:45 AM
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