At the beginning of April I set the intention to have a face-to-face interaction with each of my 24 neighbors. But as April turned into May I still hadn’t taken action on my challenge. Quite simply, I was scared. Not because I suspected by neighbors were incinerating bodies in the basement, but because I was afraid of violating the unspoken but very real norm of privacy, and the unmentioned, but very palpable code of silence that governed our community. In the face of engaging in a simple, but profoundly countercultural act, I completely froze.
We all have a superficial narrative about ourselves that we get in the habit of presenting to others. But what if I created a two-minute story aimed at maximum authenticity? What if I armed myself with a new narrative that could help turn a common introduction into a moment of self-revelation?
I have begun to see that the hole in my soul that has recently been calling out for attention is in the shape of something I have thought more about than almost anyone, but, in reality, have less of than almost everyone.
Healing without sharing has been lonely. A good kind of lonely, maybe—the kind usually described with lovely-sounding words like “solitude” or “seclusion.” But lately it’s started to feel like my period of spiritual confinement might be coming to an end.