Might we love our neighbors a bit more when we never see them or interact with them?
Might we learn to love ourselves a bit more when we’re the only ones we have for company?
Might we grow larger than mere social niceties and dig deeper into the common ground that we all share?
Might we feel the power of the cultivated imagination to unite us with our fellow beings when we are physically separated from them?
These are some of the lifelong gifts of Solitude, that sense of being alone together, seeking and finding a more profound fellowship and connection through reading or writing, listening to or playing great music, meditating or sitting in the garden in company with trees, clouds, birdsong.
Amongst many lessons the virus is trying to teach is is transforming a physical aloneness and separation that we all literally now experience in common to a soulful Solitude leading us to connection and compassion. As we heal from the literal illness, we have the possibility of healing the far greater spiritual illness that has had us in its grip.
So my friends, take the distractions of unlimited TV, constant Facetimes and Zoom gatherings, binge-eating as you need them, but for those who have neglected the imaginative, artistic, reflective life, now’s the time to begin. In this time of isolation and loneliness, make friends with your own soul which has been patiently waiting for attention. Carol King spoke today’s (and all of time’s) truth when she said “You’ve got a friend” and now’s the time to find him/her in your own heart and soul.
And then you’ll discover the proper pronoun for your friend—we.