Blue Like Jazz Chapter 14 – Alone: Fifty-three Years in Space
I was in love once. I think love is a bit of heaven. When I was in love I thought about that girl so much I felt like I was going to die and it was beautiful, and she loved me, too, or at least she said she did, and we were not about ourselves, we were about each other, and that is what I mean when I say being in love is a bit of heaven. When I was in love I hardly thought of myself; I thought of her and how beautiful she looked and whether or not she was cold and how I could make her laugh.
That must be a really cool feeling. Someday I might be able to say I know what he’s talking about, but until then, I just marvel at the idea of something being able to put in a position where I will “hardly [think] of myself.” HA! ;)
When you live on your own for a long time, however, your personality changes because you go so much into yourself you lose the ability to be social, to understand what is and isn’t normal behavior. There is an entire world inside yourself, and if you let yourself, you can get so deep inside it you will forget the way to the surface. Other people keep our souls alive, just like food and water does with our body.
Fortunately, I can say I’ve never gotten to the point of living on my own enough to lose the ability to be social. That is a sad thought all in it’s self to me. People bring me energy—extrovert.
I totally agree—“Other people keep our souls alive,”—because we are social creatures. I think the ability one person has to touch another person’s life is so amazing! It is the lives we touch, and the lives that have touched us, that play a large role in defining our state of being.
Sometimes when I go to bed at night or when I first wake up in the morning, I talk to my pillow as if it were a woman, a make-believe wife. I tell her I love her and that she’s a beautiful wife and all. I don’t know if I do this because I am lonely or not. Tuck says I do this because I am horny. He said loneliness is real painful, and I will know it when I feel it. I think it is interesting that God designed people to need other people.
I think it’s funny that Donald Miller uses that story to get to the point of “I think it is interesting that God designed people to need other people.” Really pretty random, but it works though I guess.
But all in all, yes, we “need” one another.
I truly believe it goes beyond our need for one another because we “are social creatures.” Yes, we need interactions with one another to fulfill our social desires, but I believe we need one another for more in life.
One of my underlying beliefs that I have that helps guide my life is the belief that we are all here to help each other out. I do not think we could make it alone, even as independent and self-sufficient and proud we might seem to be—talking to myself on this one! I truly believe we need one another in this life for survival purposes.
My friend Laura at Reed tells me that half the guys she knows have had crushes on Emily Dickinson. She says it is because Emily was brilliant and yet not threatening, having lived under the thumb of her father so long. She thinks the reason guys get crushes on Emily Dickinson is because Emily is an intellectual submissive, and intellectual men fear the domination of women.
This is interesting to me; almost to the point that I do not get it, really.
I think we are all pretty aware of the fact that I struggle in the guy department, and the exact reason for that, well, I wouldn’t doubt we could all come up with several theories, as I know I have my list worth. But one thing I have had put before me, even by a male himself, was the idea that I can come off as an intimating female. Exactly what that means, I don’t know, but whatever it means, it is apparently encouraging my lack of men in my life…HA!
As for “intellectual men fear the domination of women” I can admit my interest is typically in intellectual men. As my friend once put it, “you would have to have a smart guy, otherwise you’d get bored.” HA! Whatever the case, I suppose if my “intimating” manner comes off as “dominating” it is also affecting my luck with getting an intellectual guy…HA!
…just doing some deductive reasoning…HA!
Penny says it is when they are in their twenties that people lose their minds.
Stacy says this story is how he imagines hell, a place where a person is completely alone, without others and without God…And what is sad, what is very sad, is that we are proud people, and because we have sensitive egos and so many of us live our lives in front of our television, not having to deal with real people who might hurt us or offend us, we float along on our couches like astronauts moving aimlessly through the Milky Way, hardly interacting with other human beings at all.
Yes, living completely alone would for sure be like hell.
As for the second point, it is unfortunate how we are becoming more and more of a society that limits our human interactions. Day by day new products and services are being provided that allow us to limit our human contact.
I truly believe this can lead to more problems than before, and I bring it back to the point made by Donald Miller earlier about how the more time we spend alone, the more likely we are to forget how to be social and interact with one another. With this being the case, when we are required to interact with another being, after limited interactions in the past, things can become more complicated when social skills are being forgotten or even limited. I guess it goes back to the old saying…
…practice makes perfect.
Rick told me, a little later, I should be living in community. He said I should have people around bugging me and getting under my skin because without people I could not grow—I could not grow in God, and I could not grow as a human.
From my beliefs shared through out this passage already, I think it goes without saying that I truly believe we are the essence of encouraging growth in one another. Like I said, I think “we are all here to help each other out.” And if my competing with you to encourage your growth is what it takes, then so be it, but do not think that my growth is not occurring at the same time. But, of course, I do not think human competition is the only avenue for growth to occur. Also, as mentioned earlier, I believe the power of a human life touching another can motivate and encourage growth in so many ways.
We have mentors and role models in our lives that encourage our growth. We have many people we love who inspire us to grow. We can even have enemies that can push us to grow.
Growth is such a great thing!
[Note: All the above text in smaller italic print has been quoted directly from Donald Miller’s “Blue Like Jazz”]