if I could fly

03/16/2022 2 By BuddyCushman

I was talking to Gavin Monday night, telling him a new wave of loneliness had settled over me, for the last week or so. I told him I’d been able to do some sweet things up in Encinitas, and back here, too, in San Diego. But there was no one to share them with. This has been my reality since I left my friend Kate’s spare room July 1, following the divorce, other than blessed phone calls. I did tell Gavin, though, that this session of loneliness was feeling different – lots different. I said to him this loneliness wasn’t draining me. It wasn’t diminishing me. It wasn’t defeating me. It was not destroying me. I was just lonely.

Allegedly, on the day The Buddha became enlightened under the Bodhi tree – well, actually the night before into that day – the evil one Mara came to destroy him. He sent his armies. He sent his daughters. He sent yearnings and desires and fears. But the Buddha simply sat and saw, and he said, “I see you, Mara.” And Mara, having failed, moved on to somewhere else.

I told Gavin, along with everything that this loneliness wasn’t causing me to feel, I told him about the Buddha and Mara, and I said it was like that for me – I see you, loneliness. I see you and you don’t destroy and defeat and diminish me. I just see you.

The title of this post is a line from a song I wrote, by that name, some eight or 10 or 12 years ago, back when I was more devoted to guitar, devoted to learn everything about music and chord progressions, melodies and lyrical lyrics. ‘Gray Jay’ time. Back when I was married, living nearly every moment with my soulmate, the love of my life. It was a song about loneliness, the opening lines (I don’t believe prophetic), “I’m lonely. I’m lonely every day. And I’m so, so blue since my baby went away. If I could fly, I’d be long gone goodbye.”

I was never less lonely in my life when I wrote that song. And I have never been more awash in loneliness in my entire life than much of these last 11 months. But, something has changed. This path has taken me to unexpected places. Mind places. Soul places. Heart places. Larger eyes. Eyes with which to see.

I see you, loneliness. And I bow to you.