I have developed a camaraderie with solitude. My calendar and life are comfortably quiet, punctuated with occasional phone calls and text messages. Periodically there is some unrequited call for warranty replacement, or notification that my social security has been compromised. But overall I work quietly, create art and putter around the house in almost complete silence which usually doesn’t bother me at all.
But some days the solitude is different. Some days the solitude feels like burden, an obstacle, rather than a state of being. Those days carry with them the heaviness of climbing a mountain in boots that weigh a thousand pounds. Deep drifts of soul fog blow in, suffocating life and light and joy
On days like these I move in a slow circle from the coffee pot, to the desk chair, to the recliner. My wandering barely shifts the dust on the floor that has taken advantage of my cleaning abstinence. A few moments during the day sputter and stop just shy of igniting creativity or ambition.
The day feels long with empty hours and purposeless minutes. I struggle to find intention and motivation. Its hard to decipher whether my lethargy is loneliness or depression. The distinction between the two feels negligible.
“Am I ok?” I wonder. “Does everybody have days like this, where movement is heavy and painful and the world feels far away?” And “What if I always feel this way?” The panic of wondering about the longevity of loneliness and depression is as stifling as the feeling itself.
But one day inevitably turns into the next bringing with it a whole new realm of possibilities and endings. Sometimes it is one long day followed by another long drawn out day. Other days are filled with peace, lightness and joy. There are no guarantees of more days or of better days. But to be sure, at the end of all searching for meaning and answers there is always faith, hope and love.