June 17, 2010

Spiritual loneliness

I was surprised to see it's been three weeks since I last posted something.... but then again, two out of those three weeks I was traveling.

I attended a Quaker wedding out of state--a trip that included a ferry ride across Lake Michigan--and then a week-long camping trip that turned soggy at the start but ended up with fun fellowship in a cabin "up north."

Now I'm back home, briefly, before I head out again to visit family and do a short presentation on "the old and new kinds of Quakers."

But in-between these recent travels, I've had a bit of malaise settle in my heart. Some of it, I sense, has to do with laying down my participation in Facebook: while the choice has given me time to dedicate to reading Fit for Freedom, Not for Friendship, as well as to considering other Quaker-related opportunities, the choice has also separated me from the ongoing exchanges among Quaker and non-Quaker friends.

This spiritual loneliness is something that visits me from time to time.

It settles on my shoulders and in the pit of my stomach when I am away for too long from the community that reflects myself back to me. With my recent and upcoming travels, I've been able to attend my local Meeting for Worship only about twice in eight weeks; and for the first time since 1995, I won't be attending the FGC Gathering this summer.

I chalk up this sense of deep loneliness to my being a twin, that without people around me who can mirror myself back to me, I start to feel a bit lost. Maybe this is a phenomenon that others experience as well; maybe it's part of the human condition. In any event, what's a bit different about the feeling at this time, though, is that I am recognizing it and I am conscientiously doing what I can to tend to my connection with God, despite my less frequent face-to-face connections with people in my own community.

....which reminds me: I've got a few phone calls I said I'd make this morning.

Thanks for reading me.


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