Loneliness — Guest Post — by Anne Allanketner

courtesy of Judith Manning, Eugene OR
courtesy of Judith Manning, Eugene OR

Because your rainforest mind is vast and deep and because it moves quickly through its awarenesses and insights, it can be hard to find humans who “get you.” My dear colleague, Anne Allanketner, describes that loneliness here, as only she can.


The Lost Circle

Loneliness, full of dry sticks and howling dogs
can be felt by anyone; the shrunken, the beautiful, the shamed.

Remember- our tribe is dispersed,
wandering, gathering pieces of faded silk
and unraveled thread and lost buttons
mending ourselves with music, with hidden pools of color
hoping, not yet believing, that the others
look for us, also, few as they are,
few as we are.

Each one full of cold lake water from the distant mountains
Each one distracted by the catcalls and accusations
of strangeness, each one alone, lost in the dry ache
of separation.

Only a wild trust can help us find ourselves now
from the burst star of our beginnings.
Make your odd sounds, your curative movements.
Call up the light into your eyes.

Sorting and sorting our bright collections and treasures will not help.
Go out into the foreign city, among the shuffling millions.

One precious stone awaits you, caught in the hands
of the Other who is brave enough to truly sing
her own name.

We are coming towards you
one by one, a tribe dispersed
like a seed pod, each of us carrying
a little flame, a little bell
and looking for the heart
of a shared music.


To my bloggEEs: To read more poems by the wonderful Anne Allanketner,

Anne Allanketner
Anne Allanketner

go to her website. To buy her books of poetry, go here. Let us know if you’ve experienced this loneliness and what your “wild trust” might look like.


Author: Paula Prober

I’m a psychotherapist and consultant in private practice based in Eugene, Oregon. I specialize in international consulting with gifted adults and parents of gifted children. I’ve been a teacher and an adjunct instructor at the University of Oregon and a frequent guest presenter at Oregon State University and Pacific University. I’ve written articles on giftedness for the Eugene Register-Guard, the Psychotherapy Networker, Advanced Development Journal and online for psychotherapy dot net, Rebelle Society, Thrive, Introvert Dear, and Highly Sensitive Refuge. My first book, Your Rainforest Mind: A Guide to the Well-Being of Gifted Adults and Youth, is a collection of case studies of gifted clients along with many strategies and resources for gifted adults and teens. My second book, Journey Into Your Rainforest Mind: A Field Guide for Gifted Adults and Teens, Book Lovers, Overthinkers, Geeks, Sensitives, Brainiacs, Intuitives, Procrastinators, and Perfectionists is a collection of my most popular blog posts along with writing exercises for self-exploration and insight.

20 responses to “Loneliness — Guest Post — by Anne Allanketner”

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  1. “…Your Fierce and Unbreakable Light…” | Your Rainforest Mind

    […] there is poetry~ this one by Anne Allanketner, poet and therapist in Portland, Oregon, […]

  2. willenajeane Avatar

    So good!!! Yes I have lived my life looking for that place of gathering together with those who would get me, where I could be myself and not shrink with fear to show my true self……

    1. Paula Prober Avatar
      Paula Prober

      You’re welcome to show yourself here!

  3. holbart Avatar

    Man, I feel like I need to just sit inside this poem for awhile. When I get stressed, my intuitive self goes off line, and I tend to feel pretty disconnected. “The shrunken, the beautiful, the shame. . . ” The exhausted. Thank you for the lovely poem.

  4. C (Belgium) Avatar
    C (Belgium)

    Standing out, living up to expectations led to being a shrunken person although successful professionally. I broke away from marriage and have starting living, looking at the sky. Nowadays I am looking for like minded people and growing. Writing, drawing, dancing, Tai Chi, running, hiking, swimming and NLP have helped me look people in the eyes. Every now and then I see a glimpse of recognition – one of my tribe? Eventually I will find the courage to step up to them, truly singing my own name.
    The loneliness is still there from time to time but I know how to cope and am taking positive steps. I will, one step at a time, come towards you, looking. Thank you so much for this post. I put it on my wall.

    1. Paula Prober Avatar
      Paula Prober

      “…truly singing my own name.” Yes. Yes. Thank you, C.

  5. Loneliness — Guest Post — by Anne Allanketner | Ro on a journey

    […] Source: Loneliness — Guest Post — by Anne Allanketner […]

  6. Ro Avatar

    Anne, this poem is deeply beautiful. Thank you.

    My own wild trust has always been hope; like a cord that tethers me to the wisdom of the stars in the sky. In past times I desperately wished to sever that cord so I could leave, but I found it was made of unearthly stuff, and was completely unbreakable. Nowadays I’m glad that it’s always been there.

    1. Paula Prober Avatar
      Paula Prober

      So glad you didn’t sever the cord, Ro.

  7. the glimmering girl Avatar
    the glimmering girl

    I love her so much. Thank you.

    1. Paula Prober Avatar
      Paula Prober

      Me, too.

  8. Maggie Brown Avatar
    Maggie Brown

    Perfect. And what treasures will emerge!

  9. telperion1214 Avatar

    Anne does a beautiful job of describing the longing that I know I have felt. In my darkest times I was able to find one other person who had been there, who had known that. I would not be alive today if not for that particular dear friend.
    Sometimes a person shows up simply for that single task before they move on.
    Sometimes that is my job: to show up to someone else for a single task, before we part ways.
    Yet we remember and cherish the love that broke the loneliness.
    We can forge ahead through the dark times that are certain to come.
    Sometimes the memory pulls me though, and other times another person appears and helps me.

    1. Paula Prober Avatar
      Paula Prober

      Yes, the longing. Thank you. I hope my blog breaks some of the loneliness for you, telperion1214. I always appreciate hearing from you.

  10. dmstauber Avatar

    Anne’s poetry, as always, brings my heart to my throat.

    I have been lucky enough to find members of my tribe. Wild trust for me has meant: accepting that it usually won’t be a whole group. And saying no to the perfectly nice people who are not my tribe, to make room for the ones who are. And going and being in places where we seem to congregate, which aren’t always obvious. For me they have been alternative community (full of people who had to think outside the box to get there) and folksinging group.

    May we all find each other!

    1. Paula Prober Avatar
      Paula Prober

      So glad you’ve found members of your tribe. Thanks for sharing your ideas. Good to hear from you!!

    2. Ro Avatar

      “…saying no to the perfectly nice people who are not my tribe”.

      As somebody trained since infancy to not have boundaries for myself, this is an astounding concept — but upon a bit of reflection I see why it could very well be necessary in order to find ones tribe.
      Thank you for sharing your wisdom.

      1. Paula Prober Avatar
        Paula Prober

        It can be hard to set boundaries, especially if you weren’t allowed to have them as a child and if your boundaries were violated as a child. But it is an important thing to learn to set healthy boundaries. Not easy, but important!

      2. dmstauber Avatar

        Hi Ro! I had the same training and it was also a revelation to go against it. I send you strength for boundaries!

        1. Ro Avatar

          Yes. Boundaries are vitally important. So far I’ve figured out ‘boundaries against potential threat’ – but saying ‘no’ to perfectly nice people? Revelatory. More than once I have lamented to my husband about well meaning people who befriend me (usually with the intent to ‘save’ me; which I find condescending, frankly) and I feel like I cannot say no to their overtures of friendship-which-isn’t-really-friendship. I can’t be myself around them, they have no idea who I really am. This can leave one feeling more isolated than ever. That is why I so love what you wrote, dmstauber. We have a right to find our own types of people to build friendships with.

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