It is not a question of whether or not there is a community. The question is now whether I belong. I was told “you’ll have to walk away from this relationship before we do”. Truthfully, I haven’t walked away but neither have they. We just no longer circle each other in our daily lives, social contexts or work relations. There is no longer work that brings me face to face with my former colleagues. Most of the relationships that were welded by the rigor of our work and needfulness of relationship have eroded, not with the thunderous avalanche of snow caving in and roaring down the mountain. More like the subtle trickle of a stream that runs down a mountainside, carrying the mountain away from itself bit by bit until a canyon has formed. Due to time, neglect, and lack of usefulness to one another the relationship has disintegrated.
But I still want to belong. I want to be part of a community, of THAT community but there are no longer threads that sew us together. What can be done with the lingering feelings of being left behind, of being forgotten? How do you bottle the jarring emotions of feeling like you’re still part of the family but aren’t going to be included in the family portrait.
They didn’t leave me. I didn’t leave them. We have just become distant relatives who used to have a great relationship. This seriously sucks.