How is it that we could be living in a time with so many humans, with extraordinary communication technologies, and yet still occasionally find ourselves feeling lonely deep down inside? What if loneliness doesn’t emanate from the availability of people and things out there, but from a hole in our own hearts?
Sometimes when cooped up for five days without end on a writing retreat to meet a deadline, all the while nearing a dead line inside that sings the song of loneliness, I start to have flashes in my imagination where random people are in need and I reach out to them with love. These daydreams fill me back up again and I can go on. I wonder if anyone has ever had a flash like that thinking of me. I certainly never have.
What if loneliness is like a newborn baby in your heart, naked and needy and vulnerable? What happens when you close your eyes, reach down inside and hold that little baby? What happens when you cradle it with all the bountiful love that you hold for other people out there in the world?
The mere thought of this gives me shivers. It challenges my beliefs about masculinity. It scares me, which is why I’m going to try it tonight when the world is dark and I have an hour or two to break from a new set of deadlines. 45 years of planetary life have taught me that most of the time, fear devoid of threat is a pointer directing me exactly where I need to go.
Hold tight, little baby. I’ll find time for you as soon as I’m ready to free myself from the mesmerizing song of loneliness.