I read an article tonight that got to the marrow of what is up. Not just with me, but with us…all of us. It is about the loneliness and isolation that is the shadow side of our supposedly ultra-connected society.
I had just come in from gardening until after dark. I was glad to sit down and read an article about a topic that immediately spoke to me. Thus, when my mate walked into the room, I just wanted to keep reading. When he tried to connect with me, I let him know “I am reading an article by Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee about isolation, it’s really good, I want quiet for now,” and turned back to the screen. As I read on, the irony of what I had just done began to dawn on me. My beloved, who had begun his evening’s work on his own laptop, was still in the same room. “Do you mind if I read the article to you? It is not very long.” He said yes.
As I read the article out loud, the words became more alive, amplified by shared meaning and creative possibility. The second to last paragraph was particularly so. In it, Vaughan-Lee writes of the necessity of turning toward the ache, feeling the grief, in order for it to shift and blossom into connection. As I read it, I got a flash that this was the material we would be teaching in an upcoming class, our first work together after a long winter of hibernating. When I finished reading, I shared the idea with my love and the flow of the class emerged like an already-formed mandala. It was especially remarkable because after a long cloudy winter of not teaching I lacked my usual bounty of ideas.
The whole experience was like a template of the journey from isolation to connectivity…and it is just the beginning.