Monday, January 10, 2011

The curse of separateness

I've always been fascinated by masks and faces, so I got very excited when I saw this amazing display at The Dapper Frog gallery in Portland's Pearl District.

Fortunately the pieces were out of my current price range, so I could just enjoy them instead of coveting them.  But I kept looking at them, waiting for one of them to call to me, and it didn't happen -- which was good, I think.

But ruminating on it later, upon awakening in my hotel in the middle of the night, I got to thinking: Why didn't any of the faces call to me?  What was I looking for?  And the possibility occurred to me (now, I'm not saying this is true: it is a middle-of-the-night thought, after all) that perhaps I was looking for approval; a face I could put somewhere near my desk that, when I looked at it, would remind me that I am loved/okay/good/a child of God/special; that something somewhere delights in me.

Which is odd, because I know all that is true; why would I be seeking a reminder? I suspect, for now, that it's yet another odd manifestation of this sense of loss we are experiencing as we walk through the grieving process for the friend whose memorial service we attended over the weekend.  And it seems -- I see now -- intriguingly appropriate that we spent much of yesterday with his family, going through all his photos and labeling those faces we knew and remembered from his past. 

We had a surprisingly lovely time doing that -- it was a delightful reminder of the many people we have known and loved and been loved by over the years -- and now I'm thinking it might not be a bad idea to do that with our own boxes of photographs from the past.

We humans have such a huge appetite for connection, and yet we do so much to separate ourselves from one another over the course of a lifetime.  Which makes me think of a David Bohm quote I heard in class on Friday: "The universe produces separations, not separateness."

Separateness, I suspect, is a curse we create for ourselves.

1 comment:

Joyce Wycoff said...

lovely ... and what a great distinction from Bohm.