A new study from Cornell University published by lead researcher Anthony Ong in the journal Psychology and Aging shows that lonely hearts are aging hearts and that they increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. So get out there and love.
"I think it's helpful to distinguish the emotional pangs that are associated with acute loneliness from the more chronic feelings of distress that accompany perceived deficits in the quality of our social relationships," Ong said.
"Viewed from this perspective, acute loneliness may be seen as adaptive, signaling us to repair social connections. However, it is the persistence of loneliness over time that may set the stage for health problems in later life," Ong said. "I think one of the most important and life-affirming messages of this research is the reminder that we all desire and need meaningful social connections."
I am reading Pynchon, really for the first time. I had tried before but nothing clicked. Juggling Slow Learner, a compendium of early works that propelled him to his first novel E with a couple other books, Bourdain's A Cook's Tour, Melville's Encantadas and just revisited Hesse's Journey to the East.
Isn't it strange how books that I loved as a precocious punk kid can suck so bad in adulthood? Billy Budd was like that for me last week as was this Hesse book and Narcissus and Goldmund. What the hell was I thinking?
Anyway Pynchon is damn good and he brings something up in the introduction to this book that I found interesting. He says that science fiction and fantasy appeal mostly to a readership that has never come to grips with the concepts of death and mortality. So they invent a distant never ever land. Intriguing line of thought and inquiry. Writers seem to have a closer relationship with death than other artists. Think Plath or Brautigan. Musicians tend to drink or drug themselves to death, writers grab the bull by the horns.
I had such an incredible day today. In my professional duties I met a woman who happens to be the daughter of one of my greatest literary heroes. Unfortunately I don't believe that it would be appropriate to out her so I won't but her father was a brilliant writer and major influence for me. My New York book editor mother had corresponded with him when I was young and I talked to him on the phone once when he called our home.
I told his daughter that she had just met somebody who had carefully absorbed her father's every word and I believe that she was touched. It was so incredible for me to see the furniture he had made by hand, his photos and books and most of all to meet his daughter. Such a privilege. These are indeed special and magical times for me.
I have had the misfortune of meeting several of my heroes. Sometimes it is a letdown. I have never been let down in meeting a writer, one of the few crafts that can not be successfully constructed by the happy accidents that we occasionally see in music or painting. One of the most difficult and complex artforms, language.
Hug a scribe. It will do your heart some good.