In my younger days I didn't believe it when others said you can have many acquaintances, a smaller amount of friends, and just two or three people with whom you are very close. I experienced friendship at times and in places and it was good, so why not experience that with a WHOLE LOT of people.
I insisted intimacy.
I'm not that person anymore. As the years go on I become more uncomfortable around large groups of people. It's just too hard to keep up. Tiring.
I have three close friends. (And no, it's not the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Althought, they are, well, you know.... never mind.) When this fall rolls around two of them will be a world away from me, yet fairly close to each other. In June there will be a couple of weeks when all three will be gone, giving me solitude practice.
When I think about it, though, I've been practicing all my life. Saturdays are my lonely days. For as long as I can remember there's just something about Saturday afternoons and evenings that have drawn me to places where people aren't. Don't get me wrong, I'd rather be with someone than not, but if I'm going to be alone I like it to be on Saturday nights.
People in Chandler went to Tyler or Athens on Saturday nights. I stayed home or went to a friend's house in Brownsboro, population 585 on every day except Saturday, when it went down to about 17. When I'd visit my grandparents in Carthage everyone was either in Longview or Shreveport, so we went to Uncle Dans. Rarely was anyone there. Sometimes I think the little places stay open on Saturday night just for people like me.
I hope you are not feeling sad for me right now, because the loneliness I speak of isn't a sad loneliness. And, lest you think I'm talking about a good kind of solitude where I can be alone with my thoughts and my God and just be at peace with the world, it's not like that either. It's loneliness in it's rawest form. Sometimes it hurts. If you promise not to tell anyone else I'll tell you this, sometimes I cry.
But don't feel sorry for me. There is a good loneliness that isn't the "good solitude" that we talk about, just like there are good hurts and good pains. There are sad songs that make you extremely happy, (like this one , click on "Music/Video" then on ""Watch Exclusive Video for 'Something Like a Broken Heart'")I can't put my finger on it, but my guess is that you have at least an idea of what I'm talking about.
Well, I need to get back to practicing.
Here's hoping peace is where you are.