05 December, 2007

when life sank down for a moment

Because my eyesight has become increasingly poor and I only wear my glasses when I’m in class, out of necessity I have developed a new skill: recognizing people by their gait instead of their face. Since faces are increasingly difficult to distinguish at a distance, I’ve learned to identify people by body shape and characteristic movements. I think the way people move is highly indicative of disposition. You’d probably be surprised what I’ve surmised by your gait, courtesy of my happy partial blindness.

For the majority of this semester, I have hated being alone. It is rare that I have wanted solitude, although I’ve found myself more alone this year than I’ve ever been before. However, this morning I went to get breakfast at Lenoir by myself and was distinctly (and unusually) happy about it. I brought a bag of white tea and my Bible and sat in the sunroom watching sleepy students mill around the Pit and I considered how there is a gravity to aloneness. I feel, naturally I suppose, closer to myself. I am so much nearer to my thoughts, which is really the reason why I have tried to avoid to solitude most of this semester, if you want to know the real reason. But on this gray morning I was content to be with myself; content to be separate from people, to live entirely in the mind and the soft, inexpressible observations.

Woolf, of course, describes this sensation of solitude perfectly:

“For now she need not think about anybody. She could be herself, by herself. And that was what now she often felt the need of—to think; well, not even to think. To be silent; to be alone. All the being and the doing, expansive, glittering, vocal, evaporated; and one shrunk, with a sense of solemnity, to being oneself, a wedge-shaped core of darkness, something invisible to others. Although she continued to knit, and sat upright, it was thus that she felt herself; and this self having shed its attachments was free for the strangest adventures. When life sank down for a moment, the range of experience seemed limitless.” -- To the Lighthouse

Kathryn gave me my first ever cup of (black) coffee yesterday. Guys. Why do you drink this stuff. It tastes like battery acid.

CUAB was going to bring M.I.A. to Memorial Hall for a concert but they couldn’t afford her. That makes me awful sad.

Since everyone else is doing it…
My favorite Christmas CDs:
1. December, George Winston
2. Songs for Christmas, Sufjan Stevens
3. Home for Christmas, Amy Grant
4. Behold the Lamb of God, Andrew Peterson & Friends

Are men more inclined to be spiritual loners than women? (Using the term “spiritual loners” to mean they would rather find God on their own, without any assistance; tending to shy away from social functions of religion.) Is it that they are more fiercely independent? And it is unmanly to share something so deeply intimate with others? To me, this could potentially explain the (terrifying) scarcity of men in churches and Christian organizations. Or are there just more Christian women than Christian men? Anyone know the answer? This isn’t even a hypothesis yet. I may develop it more fully later, but I’m still trying to determine if it holds any water. Any thoughts?


Anonymous said...

you need contacts.

Asian 1 said...

I have thoughts. Go here: squeezemymindgrapes.blogspot.com. Free your mind.

fiercest said...

you know, you could just take those two responses as confirmation of your hypothesis....

i'm hardly qualified to comment (not possessing that elusive Y chromosome that excuses you from wearing high heels and makes you visible on the frisbee field) but i think spiritual loner-ness might be indicative of a broader characteristic--that is, we force the idea of strength as self-sufficiency onto men more than we do onto women. i know i'm guilty of exerting this pressure.

hmm. i don't know. interesting question.

Anna said...

i am glad to know your christmas selection. two of them were ALREADY on my list...abby-girl. like minds, I'm telling you. Are you coming to see me in Georgia soon? I'm adding the others to my list as well.

i just want to say that I understand and relate to everything that you wrote...

i'm not sure what I think about your last paragraph. i guess maybe i haven't found that to be the case because I go to a Christian college.

more later,
I love you.