Press Pause

Clarisza Runtung
2 min readMar 19, 2020

Everyone seems to be talking about Corona — and who can blame them really? When all you have ever had to feel ‘normal’ is stripped away and you are left with just yourself. For some people, it can leave them feeling bewildered and frazzled — as if one loses their sense of identity.

This feeling brought me back to a scene back in 2016.

I was at Basel, Switzerland when we were at the brink of breaking up. I got a summer internship in Geneva at the time that would require us to be in a long-distance relationship for at least 4 months. It did not go well — and yet, I know I had to go on living. Isn’t it funny — how sometimes when we let a problem get so pressing that suddenly it seems like that thing is our entire life? But the matter of fact is, he is not my entire life (as much as I am not his) — and as someone who is used to living alone and independently since I was 18 years old, I realized that very early on. I realized how I, myself, can be my own monster and my own advocate. This person made me feel familiar with all of those feelings and that made me think that I could *fix* him.

Note to self: the only inner work-in-progress that matters (and that you have control over) is yours.

Anyway, back to Basel. I was there for Art Basel, a world-wide known art exhibition, and found myself fixated on a painting. It was a painting of a woman in a pink-wall room with a dark shadow looming behind her — she looked pensive, guarded, and yet at peace. The painting was colored as if it was drawn in a hurried, almost unfinished, style. And these words came to mind:

“All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.” — Blaise Pascal

I immediately thought of that person at the time — and realized that maybe it was his challenge all along. At the time, I couldn’t understand it — I love being alone. I have always been since I was a little kid — I felt most at peace and lost the need to be present for everybody else but me.

Obviously, our relationship didn’t end well. My point being is not the person, but the painting: that demon looming behind your shoulder as you are solitary in a room. May all of you have the courage to face your demons: head-on and head-strong. I have faith.



Clarisza Runtung

リザ・forever a wonderer and wanderer of the world. An Emergency Room nurse on a quest to remain human.