solitude v. company










Life has become fast-paced;

every moment filled with things to do, faces, talking,

and in the midst of this I have become greedy with solitude,

snatching at moments, refusing to leave the house if an engagement is neither urgent nor routine,

binging on solitude but never finding the stillness which can only be reached via boredom

and out the other side.

Stillness and solitude are included in, but not the whole picture of community; they are one face.

The word ‘balance’ has largely gone out of fashion in recent years.  Christ was not a balance of God and human, he was fully both; we are not called to balance love for God with love for neighbour, we are called to fully love both and allow each love to feed the other.  The image of a juggler balancing many balls or a perfectly balanced (but stationary) see-saw is not what I’m aiming for.  I’m not looking for a ‘happy medium’ or the ‘middle of the road’.

Then what?

What of intimacy and solitude as the two manifestations of community?  In contrast to the busyness and loneliness that are all too common in our society?

And by intimacy I don’t just mean DMCs (deep and meaningful conversations) I mean day-by-day life in each other’s presence, finding enjoyment in their company.

Maybe it returns me to the thesis-antithesis-synthesis model, where I go to the extreme of solitude followed by the extreme of social-life before finding a way forward that is a combination of the two?

Or maybe it’s just a question of making a series of decisions, risking the possibility – the likelihood that many of them may be ‘wrong’.  Maybe there is no equation or principle to be found here.  Instead I must accept – again and again – my state of imperfection, without turning on myself or beating myself up – and so draw closer to the One and the ones who accept me in my fallible and fragile state.

It’s about learning to be human…

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