Saturday, October 21, 2006

Wondering About Solitude

Is the need for privacy and space just an invention of Western culture and living, or something else? Are we so isolated in our experience that we can't bear others brushing up against us too closely for too long? Is it unfamiliar or truly unwanted? Unpleasant or unnecessary? I don't know that answer, but I know I need solitude in order to be with people. I can't do one easily without the other. But there are cultures and entire worlds where aloneness is unnatural, and billions accept, accomodate and embrace connectedness.

I have been too far on the side of being alone, building a city of fortresses for self preservation. Most of that is just feeling so damaged by the secrets I've been keeping, and the risk of exposure from anyone coming close. It's exhausting, this work of protecting the self. Now, my effort is to be receptive to healing. It is refreshing to feel the bracing wind of truth, and know that even our worst secrets lose their power in the telling.

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