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.
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.