At the inner most core of all loneliness is a deep and powerful yearning for union with one’s lost self.
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We know loneliness most in the boundaries, when we are shunned – in exile factually or figuratively, when we lose one who loves us, when we face aging or serious illness, or our mortality and a world that inevitably moves away from us when we come to our latter decades.
Yet, ironically, we love deepest when we are alone. Memories fill our mind, haunt us with warm smiles and tears of joy and for what has passed.
It is in the boundaries – those barren places and time, with images of flat plains and us silhouetted against an empty sky – that alone meets love/Love. There is where we meet God – where alone meets Love, temporal life meets eternal life, the mundane meets the Divine.
Yes, life is a journey in which alone lingers in the social being, drives our thirsts for others, need for another, for connections – yet, what we seek is self and God, God and self. It is eternal Love that subsumes alone. This is for what we hunger.
All our intermediate longings are but hints of what we seek.
The end of life cures us of the intermediate. Our lives are a changing view of time and self. We travel from alone to “unalone,” from the lonely crowd to Love eternal.
Dante told us this in the Divine Comedy. He began his journey lost in the dark and ended in the love that moves the sun and the stars. Amen.