The unvalentine of year after year of single life. How does it feel to be uncoupled, unlinked, unrelated? Are you undone? For me I am definitely in a state of unness. Singleness by choice, a kind of pristine space albeit from time to time an alone one. This is the time, including the Christmas and New Year period, when this unlinkedness comes to the fore. It is not so much the lack of a link to a partner that causes from time to time a sharp ache, a sense of separateness so acute to be an actual heartache. The yearning is for a community, a relatedness, rather than a relationshipness. The bygone days of sharing, preparing meals, talking in the kitchen. Nowadays I no longer cook for myself. Some studies have shown that eating alone is not good for you. I find it depressing, so I would rather eat in a distracted way, while doing other things, almost in passing.
These simple, heartwarming moments can yawn like a chasm, like any Grand Canyon in their missingness. I do the stuff of meaning making, focusing on projects, meditating, increasing spiritual practice, but it is true that this unness does not sit as comfortably as at other times. I am especially aware at these times to try to focus on positive things, to steer away from undoings, to avoid certain spaces where couples and families congregate. How do you cope with the life phase of the fifties, when children are grown and you are alone? What do you do to get closer to fine?
Even a short walk on the beach helps me. I love to watch the people and the deep presentness of the dogs enjoying the sand, sea, air and of course the kelp. I sit and smile, pushing my hands and feet into the sand, a simple and great joy, looking out to sea and at the ghost mountains in the distance.
And yesterday this sign made me smile too:
Photos taken by Carol Knox
Image from Wikimedia Commons