Friday, November 21, 2008

You know that expression that everyone says to you, when they're talking about your singleness? Here it is: "'ll happen when you least expect it. You won't know what hit you."

I think generally, people who are single don't want to hear that, especially from married people. The fact is, if other singles are like me, they have been hoping that the "least expected moment" will happen in the very next second. It may be the "least expected moment," but that doesn't mean it's going to be a surprise. It's become the "least expected moment" because the moment has never come, but that doesn't mean that single men and women will be surprised when it happens. They've been looking for it, looking for it for years, sometimes for decades and when it happens, they'll already have hoped that this very moment could be the one. I'm not going to be taken by surprise when I meet my wife. I'll be surprised that I've actually found her, but I won't be surprised at her--I know I'll already have hoped that she was the one, just like I do with a dozen women every day of my life.


Dan said...

It's time to go read some of the Psalms. I am very weary of this single life--so, so weary, it seems unbearable at times.

alison said...

I have never said that in my life. I guess I don't go in for cliches, preferring to phrase my thinking in long, overblown diatribes.

Loneliness sucks, as does the the well intended assurances of stupid people. When I have been on the receiving end of these offerings, my only comfort has been to see where I have settled for the same and to resolve not to do so in the future. We have all said stupid things with the best of intentions and we have all said stupid things because we refuse to enter into a person's suffering with him. I think that is what smarts the most, the latter.

When someone is honest in his need and longing it is uncomfortable, especially if that particular need is fulfilled for the listener.

Well done you, knowing that the Psalms are the place to go since they model, one after another, real lament, anger, fear, hope, trust and praise.

Dan said...

Thanks for the comment Alison. I think this blog has become an easier vehicle for me to be honest "in my need" than in person, though Lord knows I tell you in person too! As I've looked back at it, I realize in some senses it's a rather open journal, which perhaps isn't the wisest thing, but then again there is certainly still a filter that's engaged. For some reason, it's easier to share it here, I think because I'm writing it for me, and then people can take it as it comes. It's been very helpful too for me to be able to look back on the past couple of years where I've been blogging and see that there is a journey that's being undertaken. The funk's never last--there are always good days and bad, and that's just an honest take on our lives.

Today's one of those good days--I'm looking forward to a couple of days, alone--imagine it. I'm whipping the house into shape today and then going into a baking frenzy tomorrow for Thanksgiving.

Here's the thing--thankfully I've come to realize that I need to go through the moments of need. They shouldn't be avoided, or deadened, since they force me to turn to God. In that sense, the shitty times in our lives are gifts. Something that has been rattling around in my mind is read in The End of the Affair:

"[God's] got mercy, only it's such an odd sort of mercy, it sometimes looks like punishment."

I'm coming to view this loneliness as a gift--it's just a gift I don't like very much.