I didn’t understand love like that

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University of New Brunswick


I Didn’t Understand Love Like That was inspired by my friend Louise. I wanted to think about why I was so surprised when she admitted to me that she was lonely. I wanted to think about why I had never said it myself. My big question was how can I find language for loneliness by challenging myself to write about my own? In response I wrote an autobiographical triptych, a long poem that includes 1) a series of grateful and awkward first-encounter sketches, 2) a list poem of the lonely moments of my childhood, and 3) an exploration of the loneliness of various Biblical women. In my introductory essay, I explore the different shapes and shadows of loneliness and ask how loneliness might be different for Christians than it is for those with a secular worldview. Throughout my work I try to learn from Louise and bravely say, “oh, I’m lonely.”