Writing from Greenbelt.

There is a beautiful pain in what Marilynne Robinson calls the use of solitude as an antidote for loneliness. Sitting here alone, watching the mass of humanity around me, is almost sacramental. I bless them all.

But what worth does my blessing have? To anyone? Thomas à Kempis writes that, while we must forgive others, we must consider ourselves by necessity to be the most wretched of all because we have no excuse for our sins and shortcomings. How, then, may I dare to bless someone else? What right have I to confer that on someone else, someone already perfect in the eyes of God? What right does anyone have?

Is it possible to be an introvert and still derive energy from being around others? The loneliness I feel when in a crowd is often felt by others as a negative, but I seem almost to thrive on it. I wonder if it stems from superiority. I feel such anxiety in the presence of others. So small, uncreative, having nothing to contribute. Maybe I deal with it by projecting, putting those anxieties into others. They probably feel the same as I do, deep down. Or else I deal by being critical of them. They are shallow, middle-class, too self-aware. But am I any better?

The main Sunday Eucharist is happening near me. There is something special in knowing others are close to God. But I’m sat here writing to you, Lord. Is it too grand to call that a sacrament? Well, this is what I offer you, if I have any authority to do such a thing. I offer myself back. The best and the worst of me. All of me, which is as nothing at all.

I’m reading Gilead. It talks of baptising kittens. I don’t have the vocabulary to express my response to that. It makes me want to burst.


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