During the recent holidays, when I was not distracted by hurrying off to the office, I made my peace with the reality of solitude / loneliness. Not the crushing loneliness of many in The City–that real loneliness of no personal ties, no one who cares about them (I can’t even imagine how that feels). Mother Teresa of Calcutta said that the most terrible poverty is loneliness and the feeling of being unloved. I’m only a subway ride away from friends here in New York, only a phone call or a plane ride away from friends elsewhere, and as close to my religious community as tuning into the “prayer wavelength” where I know I am remembered. The card shower from my sisters that welcomed me to New York assured me of that! Yet…
Entering into the house of Lady Solitude, I recognize it as a place of growth for my extroverted “Type Seven” self. Yet…(like Scrooge perhaps) I wonder what this Visitor has to say to me, how it will be, and how I must change.
But I can already see how–after a day of global concerns and computer frustrations and steep learning curves–my little cave on the 10th floor will be a healing refuge. I think of those who have to share the same amount of space with eight others, or the mother who has no time alone for herself, or for the homeless man I saw sleeping in a doorway outside church today, and feel grateful for this chance to come to know Lady Solitude.