Posted by: scintillatingspeck | November 6, 2012


Are we ever truly connected to another?  The watery soup of language and perception is thick and swirling.  I am not the first to notice that we appear to be marooned in our own minds and hearts, castaways on our individual islands, standing on the shore and stirring the sea in the hope that we will send ripples to the nearby islands and receive ripples back.

Or is that a fiction of our culture?  Are we set up to believe in our little, individual selves as ultimately solitary beings?  Are we connected in ways that go beyond language and perception, that bypass all of that oceanic volume of communication?  How can I expect to use words to go beyond words?

Here’s where I’m sitting.  I’m alone.  I see that.  It’s a good thing, too, after the ravages of the past weeks.  My heart is splayed open like a dissected frog and it’s for the best that I’m not surrounded by people.  If I were surrounded, I would need to run and hide.  I’m susceptible to a lot of pain these days; the mama bear part of me knows that nobody else will step up and be mama bear, that I had better bandage myself somewhat.

And yet the loneliness is astounding.

I have no right to complain.  There are people in this world who are far more alone and lonely than I.  People who have no one to lean on.  People who are abandoned.  People who are truly trapped in impossible situations, prisons, broken bodies, broken minds, broken communities, broken families.  I think of them often.  I don’t know them all personally, but I feel their presence as surely as air.  I try to live in a way that might ease their suffering, but I know that most of my efforts are for naught.  My helplessness in the face of that suffering manifests as a sort of constant, silent screaming.  How could they know that they are loved?

How can I make sure that when my life intersects with another life, no matter the length of time of that encounter, no matter the circumstances, no matter the chasms of misunderstanding that exist– how can I make sure that I step forward with love?  Do I need to cease to bind up my own wounds?  Do I have to urge others to walk through the gates of suffering, that we might meet on the other side in a field, as Rumi says, out beyond ideas of rightdoing and wrongdoing?

I sit with my splayed-open heart and think and think.  I imagine those who have touched me so deeply in the past weeks.  Are they real, these imaginings?  When I imagine a comforting arm around my shoulders, is it real?  Is it my mind clinging fruitlessly, pushing away the real aloneness?  Or is imagination another route to reality?

This is what I want to believe:  The words of kindness are real.  The open hearts, the loving gestures, the invitations to talk on the phone or meet for tea or come visit for a respite, all real, all unbounded by time.  Every act of kindness is both ephemeral and permanent, a blazing reminder of human decency and the transcendence of love.  We are not alone.  We are more than our circumstances.  We are more than our life stories, more than our identities. 

We are love.



  1. Beautifully said, deeply felt. Amen.

  2. I do believe you’ve nailed it, Jen. Those kind gestures and words are our truest actions, OUR hearts splayed open, our periodic ability to shift things into the proper perspective and come simply from love. Even if the individuals in our lives are imperfect, don’t follow through, leave us lacking…the spirit that drives us, that elevates us, that is shot through and through us…THAT is perfect, and never leaves us, never fails us. “The shakti,” as my path calls it. Very real, very true, divine love. Tell Tom I am sending him love-beams from New Hampshire. XOXO.

  3. Loneliness is a symptom of a state that can be changed. Then it becomes solitude, something pleasant. One becomes contented and at peace in one’s own Company.

    It is said that the human dreams differ from the Divine Cosmic Dream in that the human identifies with only one actor in the human dream: the Divine identifies with each and every actor in the Divine Cosmic Dream. Any actor who groks that it is a Dream continues in lucid dreaming until awakening into the Divine at the end of the actor’s role. Such an actor does not labor under the delusions of company or loneliness.

    • Robin, I look forward to shedding more delusions. Meanwhile I will practice patience and compassion for my imperfect human self.

      • Perhaps the final delusion to be cast off is that one has delusions.

        Sent from my iPhone

  4. ♥ real ♥ as sure as the sun that warms the heart of the earth

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