"From this hour I ordain myself loos'd of limits and imaginary lines, going where I list, my own master total and absolute, Listening to others, considering well what they say, Pausing, searching, receiving, contemplating, Gently, but with undeniable will, divesting myself of the holds that would hold me."
Walt Whitman (1819-92)
"When I look back now over my life and call to mind what I might have had simply for taking and did not take, my heart is like to break."
Akhenaton (d. c.1354 BC)
And now, the current weather, from some random person we pulled off the street:
Tuesday, October 25, 2005
se-cret Function: adjective Etymology: Middle English, from Middle French, from Latin secretus, from past participle of secernere to separate, distinguish, from se- apart + cernere to sift -- more at SECEDE, CERTAIN 1 a : kept from knowledge or view : HIDDEN b : marked by the habit of discretion : CLOSEMOUTHED 2 : what came spilling forth at tonight's meeting
His hands shook. His hands usually shook when he spoke. They clasped in front of him on the table, subconsciously forming a wall he could hide behind.
The group is my "relapse prevention" group, which I attend twice a month. It may well be the single greatest force in my dealing with my illness. Well, except for the meds. I've come to know each member of the group intimately as they describe their lives two weeks at a time. My friend that was speaking is one of my very favorite people, and I've come to know quite a bit about him in the last year and a half. But I was about to learn something new.
"I took all of my pills," he said, speaking of a particularly dark time several years ago. "Twice. The first time I didn't take enough, so the second time I saved up and took a lot more."
He stared at his hands, then lifted them, bringing them closer, as if he was protecting himself from the horror of the memory.
"The first time, I was unconscious for a day and a half. The second time, I lay in my bed for two days before anyone found me."
My heart broke for him.
If you walked by this man in a store, you would assume that he had a very normal life, with very normal problems. Yet, at his heart, he is infinitely lonely.
Another member of our group spoke. "I had a bad result in a relationship this week, so I won't ever have another relationship with a girl again." Yes, my friend exagerates, but to himself he honestly believes this. It was only when he proceeded to name the girl in question that we all were shocked.
The girl had been a part of our group, and had recently dropped out. And would never have gone out with my friend, in any case. His "attentions" had probably caused her to leave, especially since he is oblivious to many of the details of social interaction, to put it bluntly.
So, when he confessed this, not one of us even took a breath. No, none of us would ever bring it up again.
And so there sat another infinitely lonely soul.
We are fashioned, I think, to be creatures that enjoy the presence of others, that grow through interaction with others like us. Living solitary lives, so many people miss out on this, and so much is wasted that these people can give to the world.
And at the same time, there are so many people that are frustrated because they can't find someone to feel special about them.
Well, let me tell you, in the grocery stores and the Walmarts and the book stores and the video stores of the country, there are millions who would gladly do just that.
Love is an irresistible desire to be irresistibly desired. --Robert Frost, US poet (1874 - 1963)