“Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident.” –Corelli’s Mandolin, Louis de Bernières
Writing a letter I questioned what exactly would be meaningful, in response to a friend’s lament that she cannot get used to being alone. Sometimes being alone is the same as being with someone… but so much more easily controllable. When communication breaks down, imperceptibly, when we take for granted those with whom we are meant to feel closest and safest, and most like ourselves, are we not drifting further from meaning? When we have felt more understood than we have ever felt before, does this not erode when we get lost in our daily lives, become fearful and start tiptoeing around openness? And in the casual and slow ‘closing up’, we end up alone again even when we aren’t. Which is better? Can we guard against that feeling of being alone when we’re not?
In that inability to ever let go of mistrust or to trust in another completely, do we then turn to something else to find meaning? Do we try to discover the gentlest way to live in the world – to leave the lightest footprint?