Saturday, May 21, 2022


    I renewed my vows this month. Since I've been re-reading and reflecting on my Rule of Life for the occasion, I thought I'd write about some of it for the blog this week. I got as far as the three vows of Solitude, Silence, Simplicity, and my word-count was already about twice what it needs to be. So I'm just going to talk about Solitude, what it means to me, how I define and delimit it, why I love it, why I choose to renew the vow for a fourth year. 

    First, though -- since, lately, I see just about everything through the lens of "neurodiversity" -- let me make this really clear. Solitude is a religious calling. I may talk about how it suits me and my hyperreactive nervous system, and I how I understand the two together, but this is just my picture. This is really important: neurodiversity poses all kinds of unique challenges for relationships, but most people across the spectrum want intimacy, and -- with self-knowledge, self-acceptance, and good communication -- there is no reason why they cannot have it. Plenty of people, introverts like me, with neurocognitive systems just like mine, have happy, mutually enriching, long-lasting romantic partnerships. I want to be a hermit, I'm not settling for it.

    So, again, the difference as I understand it is that this is a religious calling. Which means there is somebody doing the calling. Which means, really, I'm not alone. I am in a primary, intimate relationship ... with God. I never feel less alone than when I am in outward solitude. I'm always trying to find some other way of explaining it, for the benefit of the people close to me who don't believe in God at all. I mean, I think they worry about me! Me and my "imaginary husband." I try to explain all the other reasons why I'm happy alone. But there's no way around it, this is the center of it, this is what draws me to hermitage, this is what makes it meaningful and satisfying and joyful. God has been plucking at me since I was in my early 20s. I finally gave in, let go of my last reservations, about 6 years ago. And I'm so glad I did! It has been so rewarding ... in ways I can't begin to explain. My relationship with God is not in my mind, it's more in my heart, so there are no better words for it than there are for falling in love with a human being. Poetry, that's all. 

    Wow ... I think I'm going to just leave it there. What more is there to say? I'm in love, I'm still in love, I still say "YES!"


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