On being lonely

I’ve been facilitating a men’s group since around the beginning of the pandemic. I didn’t quite know what to expect when I started it. I just felt called. It’s turned into something that I really appreciate. Something that I love.

One of the things that I’ve been struck by is just how alone people can feel. It’s a feeling that I’m all too familiar with. I’m reminded of the lyrics from the Michael Franti and Spearhead song Stay Human:

Starvation is the creation of the devil, a rebel
I’m bringin’ food to the people like a widow
Bringin’ flowers to a grave in the middle
Of the city isolation is a riddle
To be surrounded by a million other people
But to feel alone like a tree in a desert
Dried up like the skin of a lizard
But full of color like the spots of a leopard
Drum and bass pull me in like a shepherd
Scratch my itch like a needle on a record
Full of life like a man gone to Mecca
Sky high like an eagle up soaring
I speak low but I’m like a lion roaring
Baritone like a Robeson recordin’
I’m givin’ thanks for bein’ human every morning

(Emphasis mine. I couldn’t just pull those lines…the full verse is amazing).

I remember when I first heard this song, maybe 20 years ago. It was at a time when I really felt what it was saying — how can I feel so alone among so many? Flash forward to today, to social isolation. I imagine we are going to face a different kind of crisis in our society as more and more come to terms with just how alone they feel in the midst of this pandemic.

Hosting the men’s group is a small act I can do to try and alleviate that feeling for at least a few men. If that’s you, join us. If it’s someone in your life, send them our way.

Regardless, reach. Let’s walk with each other through this.

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