Friday, February 04, 2011
On Contemplating Hermitage
Bela Fleck on the headphones. I'm going to just write. It's raining like Jesus is coming back, and the multitude of terrified Atlantans are sitting securely in their high-rises. I'm going to a party tonight, where I don't really know anyone. I want to make new friends, as there is some hope of eradicating my humanity-standard loneliness that I keep trying to offset. I catch myself in it all the time; thinking about who I should ask out, hoping to perfect my different talents and produce something that is truly beautiful, writing and writing in hopes that someone might be reading. It's a frustrating thing, sitting in silence and wasting hours and hours catching up on other people's lives, strategizing my role in it all. It's where I've always sat, on the border of utter despair and beaming hope, wondering at how to stay above the thin red line. I'm starting to see some other factor in it, though. I think that there is a kind of beauty in solitude, in the pursuit of the "why." Why do I think that I need someone? Why am I so sure that I don't have everything I need? Why must I revert to lifestyle loneliness that I spend my time trying to avoid? I mean, surely life isn't a cycle of trying to distract ourselves from the reality of our aloneness, only to be disappointed when those distractions don't pan out; when they end in screaming accusations and hate-filled assaults, questioning our very humanity. Life is a thing that is ethereal, beautiful in its entirety. And the "why" holds a simple solution: I'm consumed with myself. I want to be in control, I want to be God. I want to hold the remote control. So I kick and I scream and I fight to make my agenda come to fruition. Loving surrender, rest in a divine embrace and quiet solitude are the solution. If only I could accept this, understand this, and know myself to be safe and secure in who He is, then all of those ancient fears might dissipate in the peaceful quiet of His love for me. I want to disappear for a season, to sit in silence and read Thomas Merton and Henri Nouwen and C.S. Lewis, and meditate or chant or sleep or whatever it is that monastic hermits do to find God. I've been content with Dogmatic faith, so long as it makes me look good, for far too long. I want to find it and believe it and breathe it in. I want to feel it running through my fingers, I want to drink it from a flowing creek bed. I want to wash my face in it, and pull it through my hair; this silent understanding of what life is, of who He is. I think I'm in a stage of life where I can do this soon, just go somewhere and not come back until I find God in a way that I never have before. He's real, he is. He has to be. He has to be more real than how I understand him right now. I suppose I'll make sense of all of this, eventually. But I just want to riot from the muddy shit that I hover barely above. I want to be free from myself and my petty controlling. And I can't help but think that He wants that for me, too.