The inverse of lonely

[Molly Radio: Only You, Maths Time Joy, JMR]

You may recall the exquisite solitude that I experienced in Kyoto. I do. I remember it in my bones. The rich, deep vibration of it. The feeling of connection. The momentary understanding that all things are one thing.

And then, there was Tokyo. This bustling, insane city. Offerings pouring out of its building and its tiny back alleys. Lights and screens and very organized subway maps. Highly-curated chaos, arranged in an elegant code - if only I knew the decryption key.

The solitude was not exquisite. I wouldn't even want to give it the beautiful title of solitude. I was just alone. I felt stale and tired: a dull husk rather than an orb of light. I thought I was just ready to come home, fatigued and yearning for familiarity.

It wasn't until I got back to my family that I could give this feeling a name - I had been lonely in Tokyo. What flipped the lonely switch to "off" as soon as I walked in the door? Was it this wonderful house? The hugs? Faces happy to see me? The smells? The light? The washer/dryer? All of sudden I felt...what is the inverse of lonely?

It's an odd thing this concept of lonely....I can be by myself, no other humans around and be gleeful and in awe and connection and feel whatever the inverse of lonely is called. I can be in a room with one other person or 20 other people and feel deeply and profoundly a.l.o.n.e. Unseen and far away from anything that feels like whatever the inverse of lonely is called.

So what is it that creates on condition or the other? Is it a sliding scale or a switch?