In which I ponder further ideas of solitude and community.
I sometimes find myself wishing for a greater aptitude for partnering.
The loneliness of the single life is sometimes hard to bear.
The lack of one to bear witness to my life feels
like I sometimes go unseen.
I sometimes find myself wanting more from my friends, with no
partner to read my every word, to comment, show me what,
myself I do not see.
There is no other in my every day to take my care beyond my self.
I go weeks without a conversation diving deeper, demanding
strength to hold its extra weight.
So I wonder, are there friendships I can foster, ask and offer
more commitment, of presence and of honesty, of depth
and claiming time? Can we, as someone pondered in a book*
I lately read, name a friendship as particular, committed, even
publicly promise, make a vow?
I know that alone I have the freedom to imagine, create and dream,
the tasks of my vocation that are mine for all to share.
I know a multitude of people watch and wait upon my words, though
I do not always hear their pondering on hearing what I say (and it
is the conversation that I relish, I do not write to be heard but to hear,
to listen to your opinion, stories and ideas).
I do retreat into this lonely space so I can step out into the crowd, be present
for the many with no one at home I would neglect.
I yearn to share the privilege, the burden, of this role; to wander
with another, go barding two by two; or maybe to come home
into community of two or three or more.
Space, for certain, I do need, but I also wonder if the 'more' I want
from friendship can be found, might be a gift that I can offer,
as much one I would like to receive.
A big house, a block of flats, with space and purpose held in common,
as well as space for contemplation and creation, space apart to dream
and to be still. Friends who share a table, prayer and a vocation,
telling stories hearing stories for the wholeness of us all.
* Wesley Hill, Spiritual Friendship, Brazos Press 2015.