What does the opposite of loneliness look like to you?

For me it’s the weekend just gone when my youngest brother’s kids came up from Bridgetown to stay with Lukas and me in Fremantle for the weekend. We took them and our dog, Ayva, for a walk and swim at C.Y. O’Connor beach first thing in the morning, followed by cinnamon scrolls and coffee at Little Loaf, then an afternoon film before meeting with my other brother and his family at a brewery to celebrate his birthday. Being with family again, having them in close proximity after 21 years living away feels like the opposite of loneliness to me. There’s something grounding in being a part of a bigger group of people that spans generations. I’m grateful for it.

Disconnection and loneliness are endemic in our society. I’d always assumed the most affected demographic was the elderly, and they are certainly severely affected, but on reading Noreena Hertz’s, ‘The Lonely Century: Coming Together in a World that’s Pulling Apart’, I learnt it’s the youth of today who perhaps suffer the greatest. We’ve all experienced loneliness in the past few years, myself included. We each have our own relationship with it.

My hope in writing a song about it, talking about it, is that it might open up conversation, allow someone to be vulnerable, for them to ask for help, and that we might look out for one another, check in, understand, show compassion, connect.

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