Wednesday, October 20, 2010

mostly yellow, with an occasional stretch of blue

Though I sequester myself, I do not do it blindly. I'm keenly aware of the limit I place on my possibilities of experience - and what an incredibly high price that is to pay. But I'll continue to spend time in hiding until I can no longer afford it, until it's no longer right. When my time is up, I'll know it. I'm not even 30. Surely, I'll not be in hiding at 50. It would be a very curious dharma.

In "isolation," which is too cold a word for what I live, carrying on relationships can be challenging. Tricky, but not impossible; different, but not unfulfilling.

With an imagination, books, music, blogs, plants, close family, and friends of all kinds, I often don't experience loneliness at all. But when I do, I feel it. I found myself tramping through a stretch of blue yesterday after emailing my best friend from high school. Today is his 30th birthday, and I wanted to send him something, so I texted him to make sure that I still had his correct address (which gives you an idea of how close we are these days). He didn't answer me very promptly, so I emailed him just to make sure he got it, because the last time I texted him, I didn't hear anything back. As it turned out, he emailed later; he was just busy at work - and I totally understand that. It's a small thing, I know - but when the only way you stay connected to your friends is through text messages, emails, or letters, and correspondence doesn't come, it can leave you a little lonely. Assuming you're foolish enough to wait for it.

I have but a precious few friends left from long ago. And we hardly ever communicate. I've been reached out to, but I'm not willing to move from my terms, and they too, stay committed to theirs. There is no ill will; we have nothing but love for each other, but Life goes on and friendships have to change. The distance is my doing; I own that. My stubborn solitude was the slipping of fingers; my familiar friendships, balloons that floated away.

My other friends whom I've never physically met are people I've come to know online or through other people. These, I have to say, are the least anxiety-provoking. They don't know me like the others do. They've always known me as this disembodied Idea, living "somewhere out there." I feel no loss for words, no urgent need to explain to them what's become of me. In his reply email yesterday, my friend asked me what I have been up to and what's been going on. With the distance there, what can I say to him? He's one of the Souls I carry with me every day and yet here in this email, what can I say? What would it sound like in a world like his, to an ear like that? I gave a non-answer. And not surprisingly, it was enough.

And that's what made me kind of sad: that such difference between my friends and I could suffice. But Benevolence presides and I see that it's perfectly so. It was just a temporary stretch of blue, what I felt. Because I know that this is just our temporary way of relating to each other. Because I know that only I am keeping things this way and that if I really wanted to try and make them different, I could.

In the meantime, as Reality is what it is, my saving grace comes with the fact that knowing another person's heart does not entail a face to face. My life is a rich one, because I've come to see how to approach the mind. I've come to see what Love is about. It comes with knowing our true nature - that Who We Really Are is what our little selves appear in, transcending thoughts of time or space - impossible to be parted.


  1. What a beautiful post, and blog! I am happy to have found your spot, and thank you for writing from the heart - not to mention from your fine mind.

    So many of us are finding ourselves "alone" and realizing we have chosen it freely, when we come to examine the state we find ourelves in...There is a very good book by psychiatrist (no longer with us) Anthony Storr, called Solitude: A Return to the Self, and reviewed on a site you might find kindred to your own soul - The Hermitary - I'll write out the link here

    I regard it as a gift, discovering the kind of solitude that I think you have found...and I know many who feel, as you do, that they are discovering a whole new dimension of "social" in meeting, with comfortable spaces between, others on the net. I have an idea this is what it is like "On the Other Side" - where it is said we visit others, and they us "when we think to do so", with no ties that bind. Happy travelling along the Road.


  2. This was a beautiful comment, Carol, and I appreciate it. I'm eager to explore the link you sent! I took a brief look already and it looks really interesting and right up my alley. Thank you for stopping by and for your kindness.

    Happy travelling to you!

  3. Very interesting blog post.


  4. What a profound post.


  5. Thank you, my minglers! =)

  6. What a lovely moving post, spoken from the heart!

    Over the years, I have moved further and further away from the city in which I grew up, moving further away from family and friends. I have also changed jobs a few times, and have found that the close friendships that I have made through work, sometimes (but not always) do not transcend into life-long relationships. However, with each move, and each new job, I have made new friends.

    I have many friends that I do not see often enough, but whom I know would be there for me in times of need. I have good friendships that pick up from where they left off, however long the gap may be. However, over the years, I have come to accept that some friendships just run their course and fizzle out!

    Like you, I have made good friends online, and I interact more with these friends than I do with some of the friends I know in RL.

    I wish you peace, contentment and happiness!



  7. Annette,

    Thank you so much for coming by and for your nice words. It's true, friendships don't always last, but they always bring us just what we need, I think. And it doesn't matter where we find them or how long they last - we're lucky.

    I wish you all good things as well!

  8. Lovely post!


  9. Hi Jeff,
    I'm glad to know you. Even though I have read here that your name is Jeff, I still have the thought (from your description in the post) of you as a "disembodied Idea, living "somewhere out there" in my mind.

    What a very interesting thought.

    I guess it is kind of true - our individuality can't really be completely known by others by our blogs, but you're right,I think we still can connect and share and perhaps be 'known' in another sense.
    Am glad that that knowing has brought you much peace and companionship.
    Give yourself time and I am sure you will leave your hermitage (of sorts) when you are ready.
    God bless you fellow blogger. Love your thoughts.

  10. My hermitage - haha! I like that.
    Thanks for coming by, Mon.
    And God bless you!

  11. Jeff,
    This is one of the most moving posts I've ever read. It is so very wise and true. I applaud you for having the courage to listen to your inner wisdom and travel this journey of exploration and self-reflection. As you have found, it can sometimes be a lonely road. How wonderful for you, though that you understand the transient nature of those "blue" feelings and that you have built a network of online friends to whom you can vent. I was about to skip IComLeaveWe for today, but I'm really, really glad I clicked through to your blog!

  12. You made my day, Tisha! Thank you so much for these nice things you said. It means a lot. =)