Friday, June 24, 2011

Being Alone

I really like this video.  The whole thing is great: words, animation, music, and message.  It kind of reminds me of the sort of free-form, prose-style poetry that I write.
While not an extrovert, I am a people person in my own way.  I like small groups, but not large parties.  I love talking to people.  People are interesting even when what they say baffles me.  I think an ideal evening is sharing home-cooked dinner with friends, laughing over our plates, sharing happiness between us. 

However, I've never lived alone and sometimes I regret never having that experience.  I am grateful though to have always shared my home with those I care about.  Not everyone is so blessed.  I've also never camped out alone, something that is on my list of desired life experiences. 

I used to have a problem being alone with myself.   I avoided it, even if that evasion was only through the use of TV...TV has a way of fooling you into thinking you are not alone.   I nearly hated being home alone.  I would become gripped with fear...I am not even sure fear of what--burglars, ghosts, my wild imagination?  I'd turn on all the lights and lock all the doors.  Sometimes even the door to the basement which I knew was empty.    I hated walking alone.  I would never go folfing alone or go fly a kite alone.  I felt stupid when I tried to do those things solo.  Or more accurately I think I felt sad and lonely.  Like I was less because it was "just me."  I think I needed to be surrounded by people and activity in order to be distracted from myself and the life I was leading which seemed so far from the life I wanted.

I don't feel that way any more these days.  I feel I've grown into myself and am more comfortable with myself and my place in this universe than I've ever been before.  I feel purpose.  I am happier than ever before and I think that is most important.  "If you're happy in your head then solitude is blessed and alone is okay."  That is not to say I never have moments of questioning...of doubt... of wanting someone around to reassure me that it is all okay.

My pursuits seem to lend themselves to solitude--knitting, birdwatching, reading, sewing, baking.  All are quite pleasant and meditative alone.  Or maybe my circle of friends just doesn't include any knitters or bakers yet and someday these activities will no longer lend themselves to solitude.   I know it is possible.

Truth is, I think I enjoy and desire being alone now because I am quite often utterly enthralled in my solitude.  I spent a full five minutes yesterday standing in the light sprinkle of rain falling from the sunny sky-- silent, listening, watching, in awe of the pea pods strung up along the green, bushy vines bursting from the garden.  I contemplated those peas and their magic.  I felt a surge of amazement and glee as I thought about the wonder that brought those pea pods forth from the earth.  I was shocked to realize that there are people in this world (in my town, on my street!) that have never been witness to such a special-yet-ordinary thing as the transformative power of planting a seed and helping it grow into nourishing food for your body.  I was blessed to know it and be part of it.  Moments like that are better alone.
However, I am also quite grateful to have family and friends to share my joy with.  When Matt came home from work, and I was no longer alone for the day, I told him all about it and we walked out to the garden to enjoy it all together.  Sharing these private revelations is important, too.  That is how they grow.  I suppose that is how we grow as well.

3 comments:

  1. So true. We often wonder at what we miss. I think your idea of camping out alone sounds like a great compromise.

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  2. I love this blog, it is so moving and so deep.
    thanks for making me reflect.
    Dayla

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  3. Thanks to you both for stopping by.

    Dayla, I appreciate your kind words very much.

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Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts and ideas. I value the advice and friendship that you share with me!