[DAY 2] About Isolation

Two major things I did today: cooked Vietnamese Caramelized Braised Pork and Eggs and listened to a book named, “Where the Crawdads Sing” written by Delia Owens while making dinner.

I am more than half way through the book, and from the very beginning, Kya’s family members left her in the marsh while running off for their lives. When she was around 7, her mom walked out of the house and never came back. On subsequent days, all her siblings were gone. None told her what had happened. They just disappeared. Just like air. Dad stayed, but as an alcoholic, all he could offer Kya was the money from his unemployment status and the occasional whips when he lost control. There were good memories when Kya went fishing with her dad (so she could meet the only boy/friend who would talk to her), yet normal days, she ran away from him, into the marsh, befriending with the gulls and the sand. She went to school once and was humiliated, and it was the boy that taught her how to read. Later on, it was him who mentored her to success.

That’s as far as I have read about Kya. Rough life. Surviving the marsh by herself before she was even ten. Anyone she invited in all soon vanished into air. However, when Kya has become popular for her books about the marsh, her brother Jodie came back to announce the death of their Ma. This part struck me the most. Not because of anger on how Ma left Kya in the first place. Not because of grief for acknowledging that Kya’s hope for Ma to come back would be no longer. Not also because of joy for she was not united with her brother.

It’s when Jodie explained that Ma was isolated and she wanted a way out.

And Kya said, “Please don’t talk to me about isolation. No one has to tell me how it changes a person. I have lived it. I am isolation.”

This reminds me of how often I experience isolation due to my hesitance to reach out. I lock myself behind closed door and grief my loneliness. Or others, they also do the same. One thing I have done worse over the years is to feel moved with the emotions of others. For the longest time, what others were going through pierce my heart to the point that I had to retrieve from social interactions to recover — what a perk of being an introvert. The stories of loneliness and isolation have been the centre of countless stories, and I just grow more and more indifferent hearing them. Until I know that it is possible to be left physically and mentally alone. All other kinds of sadness seem to be so small and curable.

I think we all are Ma’s and Kya’s siblings: we fear to be left alone. But what it takes to survive true isolation is probably not what we can afford. Let’s be happy to be connected with others through the Internet. Let’s be even happier that we live in a community and can share what we think. I will. And I won’t again blame the world for my “isolation”.

Published by Thi Le


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1 Comment

  1. I finished the book, and I thought it was really interesting how Kya has been using her words to reach out to the world all along. Through poems. She wrote all of them. It’s fascinating to see how words can be so powerful and can express such hopelessness.


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