I recently downloaded off itunes a series that I missed it was a three parter called alone in the wild by channel four.
In this remarkable documentary, Ed Wardle is dropped into the unforgiving Yukon wilderness with just basic provisions and cameras to film himself as he attempts to survive completely alone in the wild
It was a remarkable journey that Ed goes on. two hugh battles during the filming that come through for me were his fear of a bear attack, the second struggle and the one that really affected him was the battle against loneliness. A battle that finally caused him after 50 days to call in and ask to be picked up. he makes this statment durring the film
'we are social animals i'm not sure we are able to survive alone ( in the wild) Brackets mine'
Isolation, solitude, peace, space are often things that we all crave for, yet at the same time something that carries fear and depression with it.
Earlier this year I spent a time where I chose limit the time i sent with any out side 'Noise' living alone I tend to have either the TV or radio on to just give some background noise. never really paying attention to it. so I decided on limiting it to two hours tv/radio week for a month leading up to going away. It was tough, especially in the first few days. The worst part of it was the new the not knowing what was taking place. And year I missed some major news stories. And felt very isolated.
While away i went on a silent retreat in the middle of know where not toys at all even my watch went... no mobile, ipod, mac.. Time felt very different. It was a time of prayer and just listening.
I time of reflection and recharging the batteries. The time of solitude for me was energising. That time at least.
There are time when the house becomes almost like a cage and is so quiet. just longing for another to talk to is as Ed found such a strong emotional pull.
It has been sad listening to the stories on another series Heir hunters about those who died leaving No known will, that in some cases it has been two or even three before anyone noticed that they had died. Ouch,
Who is my neighbour, would I notice if I hadn't seen someone for days. would they notice if they hadn't seen me...
Thats one thing I really like about the Wednesday morning group and for that matter the morning prayers in the parish. That someone always asks. I was away on camp and one lady hadn't realised and asked where I was. she made a point of coming and telling me that when I got back. Nosey, not at all but reall concern.
In July this year a daily British newspaper ran this headline
The article goes on to say that this isn't just something that effect the elderly but all ages and that
Relationships provide a level of protection across all ages. ‘We take relationships for granted as humans – we’re like fish that don’t notice the water. That constant interaction is not only beneficial psychologically but directly to our physical health.’
Where are those in My Patch that are finding life lonely. Those who come home from work and see no one else for the rest of the day or weekend, those who only get out to go the the post office or shop... or don't get out at all... do we have time for those who talk to us in the line waiting to be served who just want to hear another voice that was just what Ed longed for in the film.
One of the great things that a friend does is each morning miss calls me I ring back.
Loneliness Kills, become a loneliness killer befriend someone