Into the dark woods


Writing isn’t coming easy, these days. In a way, speaking isn’t either, although I’m often struck by the fact that it’s quite easy to busk it, that it’s easier to talk at a more superficial level and stay away from the places underneath.

I know operating at another level than that of your deepest feelings is necessary at times, but I’m struck by just how much you end up doing it in life. While so much of what we do and say can be done on automatic almost, there seems to be little opportunity there is to speak from a deeper place. I’m fortunate to have good friends who do hear me, so my isolation is not total. I know too that this feeling of disconnection is inevitable, given that Mark was one of the few people, if not the only one, who I could talk to in a way that really verified and validated what I said and who I was. I’m grateful to have known someone so receptive and warmly open to me, but being without that re-learning navigating the world difficult.

I can feel when people are ‘there’ when I am talking to them, and I feel the space very profoundly when they are not. I often float in the spaces in between words, aware that people are talking, understanding the words themselves, but not really ‘getting’ what they are saying, or ultimately, why.

When Mark was alive, I was very conscious of there being him, me and ‘us’ – and ‘us’ was a space, a pool, a flow, something greater than the two of us as individuals. I wonder, when it comes to other groups of people, if there are spaces which we could nurture and create that are more than the sum of us? At the moment I am very conscious that when people come together it is often as a collection of individuals, who speak, and when others are speaking are often waiting their turn. We all throw our words into the pot, into the spaces between us, but I’m not sure what takes place in that part that is ‘us’.

Also, I’m aware that there is so much of me that has no expression in those collective places. Functioning in them requires the ability to map out a route in a conversation that doesn’t go into the depths, doesn’t explore what lies beneath. But it remains there, silent like a dark forest, unexplored.

I know that I shy away from expressing the darkest feelings I have, largely in the belief that people can’t, or don’t want to, suffer another’s misery too long. But I’m not even sure what is there is only misery. I have the feeling that those dark woods could represent perspectives that could help me, a path to follow, maybe. Perhaps this is where writing comes in, because let’s face it, this isn’t necessarily dinner table conversation. Yet while I’m realistic about what is required of us socially, I do fee sad, and concerned for others, that we operate so individualistically, that ‘we’ and ‘us’ seems such a neglected space, and that so much of what goes on inside of us gets so little opportunity to be heard.

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