For quite a while now, I’ve been mulling around those two words.
I am torn between my complete aversion of large groups and my delight in spending time with a person. I’ve wondered, “perhaps I don’t love people as I ought” when my dread of an upcoming social event haunts me or the very idea of calling someone on the phone makes my heart pound in my ears.
And while it may be true in part, I know I do love people. And conversations. I also love quiet spaces. And deep thoughts.
Relish sharing thoughts and experiences, listening to the wonder and revelations of others. Long to spend a couple hours on the backporch, learning more about someone I may have only considered an acquaintance. Or maybe just enjoy the presence of another while we both read our own books.
The antiquated idea of going “visiting” on a Sunday afternoon is a dream.
Unfortunately, I live in the culture of Facebook and large gatherings, one that encourages amassing friends like hobbies. And my 15-month-old son, who I often find “reading” books by himself on the living room floor, will be growing up in a society that values his salesman-ship over his contemplative nature.
“Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out going to the mountains is going home; that wilderness is a necessity…”
― John Muir
It seems, though, that only in the quiet moments does Truth become real. The haze of busy-ness lifts and we see what it is.“The real and proper question is: why is it beautiful?”
― Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek
And so, I will pursue people in small numbers–trusting that there are indeed others out there who also thrive in small numbers. Or perhaps even an extrovert that would be willing to enliven my small, quiet space. Investing in that person’s life and thoughts, I will love a person. And tomorrow, I will invest in another and love that person. I will find my community one person at a time.
An interesting perspective on introverts: