The Daily Post Writing Prompt RELAX
Last summer, beneath a lonely full moon that cried out to me, “Chill Out, Dude,” I relaxed a little. I enjoyed the solitude, the sound of waves slapping the hull, and the breeze filling the sails. When finally the sun dropped behind the pine trees to the west, I stirred only to discover the battery was dead. That meant no lights. Darkness stole the evening and my peaceful sail. Then, naturally, the breeze dropped out and the sails lay ideal, and Cassandra, a heavy, full-keeled, twenty-five-foot sailboat, came to an abrupt halt.I scrambled for a flashlight and quickly turned it on, aiming it at the sail. Not legal on this boat, it would at least make me seen. I started the engine, and headed back to the marina. A few people stormed by, as fast as possible, tossing Cassandra around in their wakes.
“TURN YOUR LIGHTS ON,” one man yelled. DUH! End of a lovely night.
I recall another lonely full moon. It was a long time ago. But perhaps that moon wasn’t really lonely. Perhaps the lonely one was me. I don’t think so, but what do I really know about how I feel. There was this beach that beckoned toe me in the relative cool of the evening. Waves gently stroked the sand. A breeze caressed the palm trees just behind me, the ones that lined the beach. Only a few peo
ple walked the beach at night. The guy that sold tourist souvenirs near the road had shut his doors; I suppose he headed home to dinner. The sun slipped quietly behind the palms. Silence echoed from shore to palm along the expanse of sand. Sitting like a recluse on that solitary stretch along the southern Indian coast, I felt serene.
A young man saw me and came to sit next to me. He spoke no English. I seemed to know that he didn’t want me to be alone. Perhaps he didn’t want to be alone. He just sat there watching the water slowly come toward us before it gently retracted. The moon’s reflection glittered on the ocean. All was well with the world. At least with our world, at least for that moment.
Every once and a while I think of that young man. Where was he going that night? Why did he stop to sit next to me? He didn’t say, “One Rupee, one Rupee,” like many other encounters I’d had in the previous months. He saw me, came to me, sat down. I really think, no matter where he was going, he didn’t want me to be alone.
There’s a difference between lonely and alone. Lonely can be experienced in a crowd, in a restaurant filled with people, or at a church service. Lonely is a feeling. Alone can be experienced when there is no one around with whom to share the beauty of the world. Alone is a situation that can be corrected. This night I was not lonely and I was not alone. The greatness of humanity is displayed in the kindness of one person toward another. It’s not love, as American’s define love. Brotherly love would be close. It’s the compassionate thing to do.
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets. (Matthew 22:37)
7 thoughts on “Chill Out!”
Great post. Yes – there is a HUGE difference between being alone and being lonely: Loneliness is a longing for KIND, not company.”
I have a “Loneliness epidemic” Series going that points out that same thing – but your lovely stories add human depth to the concept in a warm and fuzzy manner I love.
Happy New Year.
(Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMore dot com)
– ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder –
“It takes a village to transform a world!”
Thank you so much, Madelyn, for your kind comment. “a longing for KIND, not company.” Nice. I hadn’t thought of it in that way. Some years ago a friend recommended Life Together, by Dietrich Bonhoeffer. In it, Pastor Bonhoeffer wrote a chapter on alone and one on community. I understood him to say that to live in community a person must be able to live alone. He also said that to live alone a person must be able to live in community. I think I understand the part about needing to be able to live alone in order to live in community. I need to reread it, again. I’m still trying to totally sort it out. It seems to me he has a lot of wise things to say, if not easy to understand.
Your series “Loneliness Epidemic” sounds interesting.
And a very Happy New Year to you.
Lord Bless, Keep, Shine. . .
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One of my favorite Bonhoeffer quotes is, “If you board the wrong train,
it’s no use running along the corridor
in the other direction.”
I used that quote to begin another article, “Confirmation Bias & The Tragedy of Certainty.” (Use the Search box at the top right of site to find to read – OR the articles in the “loneliness epidemic”)
I read and enjoyed “Confirmation Bias. . .” It makes sense, explains a lot of things. Then during browsing and clicking I ran across “Change Requests & SuperSensitives,” which I also enjoyed. (For some reason my browser prevented a “like.”) John Bradshaw’s dialogue reminded me a lot of communication techniques I learned from a women I once dated. She expressed her feelings without my feeling shamed or demeaned. She tried to help me learn to express my own feelings, too. I am reminded through your article of just how meaningful and lovely conversations between humans can be, if only a few “rules” are maintained–though I don’t know if “rules” is the right word. Guidelines? There’s a wealth of wisdom contained in “ADD and So Much More. . . Thanks so much, Madelyn. May your New Year bring health, joy, and wondrous new things. . . Lord Bless, Keep, Shine. . .
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Thank you – this might be the best comment I’ve ever gotten! I love to read responses that relate what you read on ADDandSoMuchMore.com to experiences in your own life (and that you were inspired to click around and read more).
That woman you once dated sounded like a wise one, btw. I hope you had a good reason for moving on – and that you incorporated some of those guidelines into how you communicate today. (From your comments and posts, it sure sounds like you have.)
God bless your New Year – every single moment.
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Yes I agree with you Wil we are to Love everyone even those who call us their enemy and treat us badly but that does not mean we have to accept the wrong they do and say, Jesus didn’t and His Love is indeed very great enough to die for those who killed Him including us, He stood up for God’s Truth and even got the whip out , we too are to be the Salt, yes it may mean that one day we will be Martyred but great will our reward be and if we Love The Lord we will want to stand up for Him willingly not because we feel we have to.
Christian Love Always – Anne.
Yes. Agree totally in all you wrote.
As I study in the early morning, I make notes on various things that crop up. I return to them throughout the day, considering them in prayer. One of the threads contains this: “Y’shua says of Himself that He is hated by the world: ‘I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil.’ Y’shua didn’t lovingly embrace this world filled with corruption, rather He testified against it.”
A longer study that continues to grow began when a preacher said, “We are not here to redeem the world, but to preserve it.” SALT. I’ve been working though this for many weeks now. I’ve been looking at the thought of Genuine Believers acting to preserve the world until the time of the Gentiles is fulfilled. I looked Believers who may be rescuing people as if they themselves might redeem them, and that this may not always be the will of G-d. But yet, there are times in which it is appropriate to rescue in order to preserve. It’s a work in progress. It’s not cut and dry. There are grey areas between the black and the white. It is these areas in which we as Believers but be totally in tune Spirit.
Lord Bless, Keep, Shine. . .