isles of solitude by spork

i have been introverted my whole life. i had friends of course, but generally i would have only one friend at a time, and they would be my absolute best friend. we would be like brothers, except without the sibling rivalry. i did not cause my parents problems when i was little with 'acting out'. my mother's testimony corroborates my memory that i never threw a tantrum when i was a child. not even one. if i couldn't have a toy, i accepted it. if i had to be by myself, i was usually glad of it, because i had no problem being in my own imagination in the way that a fish has no problem being in the water. i did not get bored.

there are certain experiences that are unspeakably beautiful and precious that can only happen in solitude. it seems to me that many people in the 'culture' around me do not understand this. they hate being alone, they hate quiet. they don't know what to do with themselves and get very uncomfortable when there isn't a tv on, or music, or an immediate vocal exchange, or whatever. the conditioned preference for continuous externally generated stimulation is encouraged from day one. i've wondered, especially lately, why i was not fully imprinted with that conditioning, even though I've lived my entire existence in the heart of it, and certainly have pissed away appallingly many hours in front of glowing boxes and such? for a while i thought maybe I'm some form of autistic, but that doesn't seem to quite fit. I'm not going to try to self-diagnose beyond general introversion, since i don't seem to need special services or medications. at any rate i am more interested in understanding, appreciating and reestablishing my own inner culture than the artificial behavior control structure around me that has nothing of substance to offer.

i only mention this here...well there are more reasons for such disclosures than are immediately relevant to the purpose of this post of course, but the part that might be interesting to other people is...that i want to connect with other people who have this sort of attitude toward solitude, loneliness, and solitary existence. who find even the sadness beautiful. although i have a wide range of art and experiences that i find appealing, those that speak most strongly to me deal with individual experience, loneliness, isolation, alienation, and solitary wonderment.

so I'm going to offer here some games, movies, books, or whatever seems to fit the theme that you might like if you're like me.

Yume Nikki
I finally played this game and reached the ending last night. This is the sort of game i might have made if my life had gone slightly differently here and there. I'm glad somebody made it though.

Phocas Island 2
this is a doom-engined game that includes actual action - there are monsters to fight, but only a small fraction of what you'd expect in a doom-based game. most of it consists of environmental exploration, which is my favorite part of most games.

this is described by its programmer as a "notgame", and that seems fitting to me. it is rather a game-like artistic expression of alienation that a lot of people, judging by the comment section, don't get. most people not getting something is a common, perhaps necessary, ingredient in those things which i find beautiful.

somehow i never got into Myst back when that was all the rage...i wanted to try it a couple of years ago but for some reason couldn't get it to run or something.

EDIT: oh how could I have forgotten about Shadowgate and better yet Shadowgate 64 the first time? The latter is an especially wonderful experience of wandering around in an abandoned semi-haunted castle for hours all alone.

Night on the Galactic Railroad
this one still imparts the sorts of feelings this post is about even though there are two main characters. plus, it has legit furry interest. I'd like to read miyazawa's story, but i guess he made several versions, and though i haven't checked on them in a long time i think i remember the best translations are the most expensive or hard to obtain, and the others are apparently pretty crappy. too bad.

The Plague Dogs
another one furries already know about, but worth the mention. sad, sad movie. i was choked up for three days after watching it, but it hit pretty hard because I'd been in a considerably altered state while viewing.

The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon
my father got this for me when i was in the hospital recovering from major back surgery and all fucked up on pain killers which were already giving me a strange, almost feverishly anxious experience of loneliness, because he knew I'd read a lot of Stephen king in high school. it turned out to be a good choice because this particular book focuses on the harrowing ordeal of a little girl lost in the wilderness, which dovetailed nicely with my own nervous condition at the time to produce a really emotionally absorbing experience, if a very uncomfortable one. still, one i cherish.
ah, you can find the audiobook on ewetube but it has a couple of dozen commercials throughout, so...

Macks has made several pieces that evoke solitude in a sad but beautiful way, for instance this, this, this, this and this. he also made an amazing animation demo real which for some reason is now not publicly accessible.

Wilhelm Reich - Alone
this is a 10 minute recording of Reich lamenting his misunderstood genius status. despite my misgivings regarding much of reich's work, basically everything from orgone on, this is still an emotionally resonant monologue.

well that's it for now. if you have any suggestions that would fit with what I've posted here then don't hesitate to mention them! the medium isn't important - for instance i have a guidebook for hiking the pacific crest trail which runs from just north of the Mexican border through California, Oregon and Washington to just north of the Canadian border and includes tips and anecdotes from experienced hikers. one of them mentioned that on one of his hikes he went something like 11 days without encountering another person. it must have been an incredible experience.

isles of solitude


4 March 2014 at 15:28:25 MST

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    There's definitely worth to private experiences! There's often a big sense of freedom to them. A big open field with "nothing" in it is a kind of paradise imo.

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      oh well I usually like there to be things in it, just not necessarily other (non-imaginary)people =')
      but then, what person isn't imaginary?

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        Well, if you can touch their face they're likely not imaginary. You never know, though. That might not apply if you were imaginary yourself.

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          but unlike their faces they are intangible. as what then do they exist? where in? what can be confirmed?

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            Hmm... I don't know. What people feel in the hearts is what makes them real! That's my best guess.

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      you know when I replied to your comment the first time I hadn't been taking your gallery into consideration...yes, I'd guess you understand the feelings behind this post quite well.

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    i've always spent most of my time by myself, haha. the plague dogs hit me hard, too. thank you for posting these links c:

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      ah I'm glad you got something out of that stuff up there! i suspect introverts of all stripes gravitate in cyberspace, as i seem to have a healthy proportion of such persons on my watch lists.

      also, I'm glad you're doing the hard work and learning the lessons. i have been absent from school for too long.

      and i mention, apropos of nothing, that this is the music I'm listening to at the moment. =')

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        i am too, thank you c: it's easier to talk and be open when you don't have to stutter, zone out or otherwise seem uninterested without meaning to.

        me too, it's about time i made some progress with school.

        aha, i'll have to give this a nice, thorough listen. thank you very much!

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    I want to share some of the experiences I have in solitude. This is probably largely why I write. And largely why I search for people who think similarly to how I do; meaning, they process information in a similar way and have similar interests, while not exactly the same interests. I recently found someone like that. They are like another part of the same brain, it's wonderful! It is so much easier to talk with them than anyone else and the use of language and the understanding is so similar that its the closest thing to a mind-merge that I think may be currently possible -- at least in my personal experience.

    "who find even the sadness beautiful."

    "most people not getting something is a common, perhaps necessary, ingredient in those things which i find beautiful"
    funny how that can work

    I remember looking at Myst in stores and sort of being drawn to it, but that was probably before I even had a home computer.
    And I later read about it in a gaming book or something and was like -- yea, that would have been fun.

    Shadowgate I had on an emulator and that was a great game!

    Old drawing:
    "The Way"