The best intentions are sometimes scuttled — I have had in my mind since the inception of my musings to turn these writings into a gardening experience. And yet, there are times where the need to write invades my synapses and pushes against the inside of my skin until there is no choice; and in this, there is no choice about the subject matter. After all, the muse always wins.
I am lonely. Not in the “I’m going to act out in dangerous ways” kind of lonely, but in the my “overly analytical mind needs to examine again and again” kind of lonely. I’ve been alone for over a decade, and this analytical presence has its place in the front of the vanguard of my psyche all the time. It has shared my bed, my thoughts, my energies. Indeed there are many dead soldiers in this process, as they pass through and beyond the need for further analysis. But the part of me that is designed to “serve and to protect” has been running interference, possibly for my whole life, against loneliness.
I was a singular child; not lonely, but alone in ways not seen by the naked eye. Trying to navigate a space where I didn’t feel I was lovable or deserved love. Where I felt connected, where it couldn’t get to me, was in that place of creation: performing, singing, dancing, writing, building and later in life, gardening.
In those spaces, I am one with the incarnational spirit that is me. Recently, I read Richard Rohr’s The Universal Christ; I am captivated by the idea of the creator spirit being inside of me and outside of me, in every pixelated atom that makes up everything. Not only have I been created, but I am constantly being recreated, renewed, incarnated. If the universe cares enough about the pixelated me to join me into this tangible, incarnational being, who am I to question?
The most beautiful things in the world, the Joshua Tree, mountain crags, beaches, you name it, are also incarnational. What makes them iconic, majestic, compelling is the very sculpting of the ravages of time, the survival against odds, the ongoing microscopic incarnation.
So here I am, broken not fixed, incarnational, leaning into loneliness. My psyche has permission to stop blocking and tackling. Loneliness is a perspective that makes me comfortable where others are not. To embrace the universe in my interstitial spaces and realize it is not a fault, it is not terminal, it is a gift. The blocking and tackling, the devising of imaginary companionship has been more damaging than loving all that is me, including my loneliness. Loneliness does not define me, it defines how I see. What I see is I would rather be lonely than give up the pixelated God that is all around me or be that which is not part of my incarnational being.
I am afraid I am saying this very poorly; but saying it at all is perhaps a few more steps towards walking another soldier to its grave. Living with loneliness isn’t easy, but there are much worse things.