I was lonely last night as my head hit the pillow. At first I didn’t know what it was- this agitated sort of feeling- but I got curious about it. “This is lonely,” I said to myself, feeling more like an anthropologist than anything else. “Where do you feel it in your body?” I whispered aloud. I put my hand on my heart where I felt the ache. “This is lonely,” I said to myself again. “What’s it like?” And I felt that it was a longing for connection, for touch, to be held. It was an ache for love. And it wasn’t scary to simply feel it- it just was what it was – an ache for love. (By the way, my computer just auto-corrected that last line and said, “It was an egg for love” which made me smile)
Then I imagined my future beloved right there with me. I held his face before mine and tried to see him, squinted my eyes in the dark to see what he looked like. “When are you coming?” I asked him and an answer popped into my mind. “How will you find me?” I asked the dark. And a friend (someone I only see occasionally) came to mind. Then I wondered if I made it up or if it was my intuition speaking. I will keep you posted.
I remember reading a story about how the writer Roger Housden met his wife. She came to him first in a dream- one that felt like a visitation- her face over him like an angel. And then when he met her many months later – it was that woman, that same face, and he knew she was real.
Once, many years ago, I was having a really hard season. I had just been laid off from a job I loved and had started my jewelry business. Problem was, there weren’t a whole lot of sales yet and there was everything and nothing to do. I spent entire days by myself in a big Victorian house in San Francisco, working in an attic and feeling lonely. Just me and a cat named Enki. I cried to a friend one morning who stopped me mid-conversation, “You need to do a mitzvah today! You need to get out of your own head. Is there anywhere you can volunteer?”
I had been volunteering for years at a place called Creativity Explored – an art center for adults with developmental disabilities- so I immediately hung up the phone and raced over there. One of the things I loved about that place was that there was never any preamble or formalities. You didn’t have to explain yourself, you just dove right into what was happening in the moment. It was indeed the perfect way to step out of my own little mental drama.
I sat next to my dear friend Michael Bernard Loggins while he drew and we did our usual routine: “Okay, Andrea. Ask me questions and then write down what I say. Then I want you to read them back to me.” We both loved this.
Without me saying anything about myself though, he paused, looked me in the eyes and said, “Andrea, you’re not alone. Allura makes jewelry too.” He pointed to one of the other artists in the room- a soft-spoken woman in a wheelchair making day-glo bracelets. “If you’re both making jewelry then you’re not alone!”
Then he smiled, satisfied with himself, and continued to draw. I was stunned, forever changed by that moment of grace.