Alone and Not – my thoughts

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“… whatever you desire of the world will not come to pass exactly as you will like it. But the other mercy is that whatever the world desires of you will also not come to pass. And what actually occurs is this meeting, this frontier. But it’s astonishing how much time human beings spend away from that frontier, abstracting themselves out of their bodies, out of their direct experience, and out of a deeper, broader, and wider possible future that’s waiting for them if they hold the conversation at that frontier level.”

“…one of the elemental dynamics of self-compassion is to understand our deep reluctance to be left to ourselves.”

“…we don’t get to choose so often between things we hope we can choose between.”

“Alertness is the hidden discipline of familiarity.”

“Half of all human experience is mediated through loss and disappearance.”

– David Whyte – Excerpted from “The Conversational Nature of Reality”an On Being podcast with Krista Tippett (April 6, 2016)

—–

“Everything is Waiting for You.”

Your great mistake — Your great mistake is to act the drama
as if you were alone. Your great mistake is to act the drama
as if you were alone. As if life
were a progressive and cunning crime
with no witness to the tiny hidden
transgressions. To feel abandoned is to deny
the intimacy of your surroundings. Surely,
even you, at times, have felt the grand array;
the swelling presence, and the chorus, crowding
out your solo voice
You must note
the way the soap dish enables you,
or the window latch grants you courage.
Alertness is the hidden discipline of familiarity.
Alertness is the hidden discipline of familiarity.
The stairs are your mentor of things
to come, the doors have always been there
to frighten you and invite you,
and the tiny speaker in the phone
is your dream-ladder to divinity.
The tiny speaker in the phone
is your dream-ladder to divinity.
Put down the weight of your aloneness and ease into
the conversation. The kettle is singing
even as it pours you a drink, the cooking pots
have left their arrogant aloofness and
seen the good in you at last. All the birds
and creatures of the world are unutterably
themselves. Everything, everything, everything is waiting for you.

-David Whyte

—–

There is a conversation in me between comfort and pain. It’s not just the pain of sadistic / masochistic play, it’s also the pain of sorrow, of disappointment, and of separation. There is a pain in aloneness, sometimes. I both crave and resist being alone, feeling alone, and being still long enough to hear what my body, my mind and my heart are saying to me in the silence.

Lately the Universe, or the powers that be, have seen fit to give me a season of more aloneness than that with which I am entirely comfortable. I’ve been kicking against the riding crop, balking at what cannot rightly be avoided. l’ve been stubborn, depressed, at times inconsolable. l’ve been blind to what I might gain from accepting the truth and the possibility of good from an experience of change that is filled with increased aloneness, disapointment and a deep sense of loss.

I am reminded today that sorrow is waiting for me, she is my companion, here to keep me company, to help me, to sit with me and teach me, carry me, help me find myself… until her job is done. I need to welcome her, and accept that the loss I’m feeling is a part of life — unavoidable, but completely embraceable — perhaps even something to celebrate as a reason to stretch and grow.

And sorrow is not alone. There are other companions, waiting for me. So, the questions are these: ”What else keeps me company when I feel alone, and what am I missing out on,when I succumb to loneliness?” Here is an incomplete list:

There are books waiting for me. These are books that lend their voices, whisper to me of love and life, of living fully, celebrating and dancing in the sun, lying beneath the stars, gazing at the moon. These are books that remind me there are adventures to have and ideas to explore. There are my own philosophies to challenge and there is my own growth to encourage.

There are songs waiting for me. Lyrics and melodies wait patiently, to offer me comfort, commiseration, inspiration and energy. Songs wait to move me, to prompt dancing, to jump-start poetry, to trigger smiles and tears, and memories.

There are trees waiting for me. They beckon me to walk and run, to lose myself in the woods, to push and to stretch my muscles, to work and to sweat, to tire my body and quiet my mind. They offer peace, solace, connection with my own breath, and my own soul.

There are baubles and trinkets, stones and feathers, scraps of leather, paper, ribbon— so many mementos— that lie waiting for me, on tables and on shelves, in bowls and in boxes, to bring to mind, with the touch of my fingers, the truth. I am not ever, truly alone. I am surrounded by active, purposeful, deliberate love. Mementos of date nights, of personal challenges, milestones, accomplishments and anniversaries are everywhere– gathered by my own hands to surround me with their energy and meaning.

There are also beds and chairs that hold me, support my tired weight. There are shoes and cars that carry me. There are paints and brushes, ink and pens, paper and canvas that invite me to express my emotion, to create and play.

David Whyte suggests that we’d be better suited in our solitude to join the conversation that is waiting with these several companions. They each have something to say, and even, perhaps, speak to each other in conversation as well. It would be a shame if I should get so caught up in my aloneness, that I miss the stories they have to tell me, the questions they ask and answer, and the wisdom they offer. It’s time for me to engage, to find my gratitude, and to listen and speak. With these and so many other voices in my perceived isolation — truly, I am not alone.

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