Friday, August 20, 2010

The Sweet Confinement of Your Aloneness

This is the kind of poetry that rips my heart open in the most exquisite way.

Sweet Darkness

When your eyes are tired
the world is tired also.

When your vision has gone
no part of the world can find you.

Time to go into the dark
where the night has eyes
to recognize its own.

There you can be sure
you are not beyond Love.

The dark will be your womb

The night will give you a horizon
further than you can see.

You must learn one thing:
the world was made to be free in.

Give up all the other worlds
except the one to which you belong.

Sometimes it takes darkness and the sweet
confinement of your aloneness
to learn

anything or anyone
that doesn’t bring you alive

is too small for you.

~ David Whyte

* * * * *

Tonight I am sitting in my sweet darkness. I have moments of feeling the confinement of my aloneness. I have become so resistant to being alone. I didn’t use to be this way. Before my marriage I became very comfortable as a single mother and did all kinds of things that brought me joy when I was alone. I loved those too rare moments when I had the house to myself and could indulge in anything I desired. Yet now I am uncomfortable on my own, questioning that somehow I am less because I am not in the company of others. Between 7 years of living with someone and 2.5 years of participating in my glorious community I have become addicted to the validation of relationship.

But I do think there is more to it. Here’s an interesting question – am I having difficulty being alone because I’m having difficulty knowing what I desire?

Alone means that I can sing my heart out to any music I want.

Alone means that I can dance without inhibition.

Alone means that I can read and write without external distraction.

Alone means that I can make art (I can't even remember the last time I made art just for my self and the sake of creation).

Alone means that I can focus on my self and my connection to the All through spiritual practice, ritual, divination, and journal writing.

I know that I desire meaningful interactions with other people more than anything else. And I don’t experience much meaningful connection at work, where I spend so much time, so I drink up what I can when I can. But I can not have a balanced life if I do not spend time on my own, putting energy into other activities that nurture my soul and all of who I am.

How different would life be if I was doing what I desired for work – connecting meaningfully with other people? It’s what I always hoped for in non-profit work, but family survival drove me into administration (where the better money is), which rarely leads to meaningful connection. It’s all about information management. I desire to be creating and delivering programs that hold space for or facilitate transformation in people.

The thing is that I can't make the transition to the work-of-meaningful-connections without spending time on my own to develop the foundation of delivering this work to the world, whether through the Imps or through my own business or both. I cannot create the work and the life I desire if I am spending all of my free time socializing with others.

It's time to accept the sweet darkness, to see the freedom in my aloneness and discover what truly brings me alive.


(P.S. I actually wrote this post a couple nights ago, but my internet at home wasn't working.)

Image Source: Alone in the Dark by Vaclav Sirc

1 comment:

Writer/Consultant said...


I have spent 95% of my adult years living with someone (two long-term, one shorter term relationship). I am having to learn, from scratch, alone-ness. It is so hard.

And intimacy is the biggest issue for me. And romance.

Many have suggested taking a lover. Unfortunately, I have to LOVE my lover. It is who I am. Not morally. I soooo wish I could. Unfortunately, I am hardwired to need deep eye contact and soul connection.

I am learning. I am learning. But some things can simply not be replaced. And there is the, uhm, rub.