Somewhere in Time

Travelling back wasn’t much fun. I felt down and tired and rather sorry for myself as I headed for the train after my bus. I could describe what I was feeling as being in a state of ‘limbo’. Like being trapped between two worlds – the world of Lampeter retreat and the world of Stockport routine. It was not the feeling of being away from silent countryside, or the feeling of coming back to England that made me sad. It was that in that moment, I was in neither place. I was in between. And that solitude was trapping.

It reminded me then of Sara Maitland’s chapter 3. She wrote of wanderers, travellers, and their good and bad moments in silence and solitude. Extract:

…it was precisely at the point when they felt they could not escape that things started to go wrong for them…

It was only a couple of hours until I had moved away from the in between of the two places and felt normal again. But the trapping solitude was somewhat ominous. Enforced silence isn’t a positive one. After thinking about this feeling whilst in the ‘limbo’ state, I decided to do something about it. I pulled myself up and digged some chocolate out of my suitcase. And then, with my iPod, I decided to choose the sound of my silence, of my solitude…

… and with that the trapping sensation began to subside. I was not leaving friends behind and I was not alone waiting to go Home either. I was in between, but I was connecting more rather than remaining isolated.

I’ve learned on my trip, that we need both silence and sound. Solitude and socialising. Both are important, but having only one of the two is damaging. Silence, solitude, brings inner and outer awareness. Contentment, peacefulness. Whilst sound, socialising, brings communal experience. Family belonging, another kind of connection.

More on “communal” experience tomorrow. As Barbara Brown Taylor had it, “In the imaginative act, two ideas are struck together and sparks leap through the air between them, revealing familiar notions in a new light”. My trip created plenty of sparks, and I’m only about a third of the way through my reading. So more posts to come…

My Lampeter photos on Picasa here

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This entry was posted in *Favourites*, Book Quotes, Christianity, Deep Thinking, Music and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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