“God, but life is loneliness, despite all the opiates, despite the shrill tinsel gaiety of "parties" with no purpose, despite the false grinning faces we all wear. And when at last you find someone to whom you feel you can pour out your soul, you stop in shock at the words you utter - they are so rusty, so ugly, so meaningless and feeble from being kept in the small cramped dark inside you so long. Yes, there is joy, fulfillment and companionship - but the loneliness of the soul in its appalling self-consciousness is horrible and overpowering.”
-Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath
"He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds."
I went to visit a friend at an AirBNB last night. After that, I had dinner with him and four other friends. When dinner was complete, I stopped by the home of two other friends to pick up some belongings I had forgotten the last time I visited. When I returned to my house, I received a text from another person inviting me to a formal dinner for eight at his elegant home next weekend. Then, I picked up my amazing daughter from a late shift at work. We went home and had a pleasant hour together before retiring to bed.
It sounds like a pretty good night, huh? A night full of loving people who are quite delightful to be around and who sincerely care about me. But all the while, I have this cloud in my soul that just looms and prevents me from experiencing joy.
In the darkness of heartbreak, I've had no happiness and I don't expect to ever truly be completely happy. I'm not "speaking" that into my life. It is just a fact. I don't think anyone can be completely happy. You've probably seen skits involving actors where someone off camera will be directing the subject to show emotion and say something like, "Think of the saddest thing that's ever happened to you." All of us can think of the saddest thing that's ever happened to us and it will prove to take you to an unhappy place. Understanding the difference between happiness and joy is something I have to work through. Right now, I don't think I have either. My perception is that happiness is something that is beyond my control but joy is a choice made through some type of connection.
I laughed last night. Those moments were glimpses of joy. My problem is that I am so hyper-aware of it that I immediately analyze that occasion and dislodge it by choice with my looming heartbreak. It is extremely important for me to nurture connections with my children, my family, my friends, my passions, and most of all - my God who (if I allow it) will, through joy, heal this broken heart.
My personality has always been one of resistance. It is evident in every aspect of my life. Maybe I'll surrender one day and be able say, like the great Percy Bysshe Shelley:
“I have drunken deep of joy,
And I will taste no other wine tonight.”
But for now, after the lights are out and my whimper to God must translate as angelic tongue - I remain Mr. Lonesome.