After yesterday’s plunge into that gloomy forlornness, and after getting it off my chest as I wrote, I leapt out of bed this morning and was in the swimming pool before 8am, and then Citi-biked the 3 miles uptown to the morning’s class at the School of Practical Philosophy, where we spent a couple hours exploring questions of the importance of reason to live well, to discover truth, to understand our true identity. I have enormous respect for Jaime, our tutor, who is skillful as a facilitator, sensitive and clear thinking, honest and passionate. My contribution today was to throw two as yet unmentioned elements into the discussion: Christ, and love. As a matter of fact I wonder if it is even possible to truthfully and fruitfully approach the questions of life without the lenses these two afford; I find that I don’t want to. The rational approach we have been exploring feels at times barren and impersonal without them.
But it is an excellent, excellent course; challenging, inspiring, exciting. Not for the fainthearted.
And then I did something brave: I stood up at the end of the class and offered a general invitation to the 40 people in the room to join me for lunch after next week’s class - anyone who would like to continue the conversation beyond the classroom (we had just broken up into triads for an exercise in listening) - and I said that I had been feeling lonely as newcomer to New York, and that I would love to meet people on a more personal basis.
About 10 people approached me as we left the room and thanked me for my courage, gave me their phone number, said they would like to come next time, shook my hand, all with warm smiles. (“Where will you go if we all want to join you?”!!!) Several also commented appreciatively on my Christ/love contribution.
And I then invited two of the women to go out directly in that moment for lunch, so I sat and ate with Gabriella from Mexico and New Yorker Andy. So so nice.
Such a little thing made an massive difference to how I felt about my place in the world today, and, what is all the more amazing (and gratifying), evidently, to how other people felt about themselves too. It is soooo worth stepping out in response to my intuition and to express my vulnerability and need; wonderful to find myself sharing with others that place where love and trust unfold.
Unfolding, yes, like the young red hellebores and yellow crocusses I spied in a city garden today. Spring IS really truly coming!