Every week, sometimes several times, like clockwork, I thrust myself into the midst of the devout throng to conform and perform.
Was that the price for love?
It was beautiful then I thought.
Now, I wonder… How beautiful was it, actually? Because I would never go back! I would never pay that price again! If it was so beautiful, why don’t I want it again?
So I escaped.
I ran into the wilderness.
The wilderness isn’t one of physical deserts, forests, and beasts. It is a wilderness of metaphysical ones!
Here, in my spiritual wilderness, I endure long dry spells of incredible thirst. I get entangled in limbs of bewildering confusion. I encounter wild beasts both within and without. And, above all, loneliness.
But I’d rather this than a domestic and docile compliance!
However, I must continue to be honest: I do miss people.
Friends used to abound. Now they’re almost nowhere to be found!
I’m like a fox. Sly and shy.
Is it because I don’t want to be hurt again? Is it that I don’t ever want to submit again?
Or, is it about trust? Can I trust people not to subdue me? And can I trust myself not to allow it?
I love the wilderness. I’d live here if I must. But I’d rather visit it than dwell in it forever.
I love people, but I’d rather be myself alone than be a stranger to myself and to them in their midst.
If they welcomed me to their fire, I think I might go. As long as it was understood that it would be really me.
I’ve become shy. Like a fox.
It’s how I, yes I, survive.
(*** You should order my very popular graphic book The Liberation of Sophia, a collection of 59 Sophia drawings and meditations like this one.)