Actually I am very similar to Rika Dobashi here, except I have no one to tell me “You don’t really rely on others, everything you do is decided by yourself”. Well, nobody outside my own heart, at least.
If you came to this site by googling for the phrase “splendid isolation”, as I just did, you should probably go back to Wikipedia or some reliable history sites. I had no idea that this phrase had ever been used before until a few minutes ago, and the voice in my head used it in an ironic meaning. I think it was ironic, at least.
See, I had something like a small panic attack this afternoon. This is rare indeed at this stretch of my life, thankfully. I had napped a little in my chair and felt kind of sick and weird, and way too cold for the glowing hot room. Then I got kind of sick. But anyway, sickness happens to all sometimes, so that is not the point. Rather, at the same time a sense of dread came over me, and a feeling that my life was a failure and would end as such.
I thought back, over the many long years in which I have felt content, have woken up in the morning grateful for a new day, the many years of not so ecstatic or intense but still happiness. Thinking back, there has to the best of my knowledge not been a single moment in my life in which I have wanted to end it, and only minutes at most, in my teens, where I at least halfway wanted it to end. Apart from that, it has been decades of enjoying this life I have been given. Oh, I did not enjoy my job for most of the time, until just a couple years ago. But I accepted it and I certainly enjoyed the life it made possible. Looking back at my life, I found it hard to agree that it was a failure, that it was wasted, when I had lived decades of quiet joy.
But at the same time, I reprimanded myself. (It is somewhat hard here to keep track of who is I and who is myself, more about that in a moment.) I had been happy, sure, but had I made others happy? Â Occasionally and more or less by accident perhaps: Â Back when I still was in the Christian Church, I had friends by the simple virtue of us all walking in the Light, but now that we are not in contact anymore (and they probably assume I don’t walk in the Light anymore, since I don’t attend the Church meetings), that opportunity has closed. And I have no skill in making friends. Not that I need those friends in order to feel loved or accepted. I need them in order to give those kind of feelings to others, to make others feel the love I now have for them only in the most abstract sense.
Around this point was when one of the voices in my heart, I am not sure if it was me or myself or some kind of spirit guide or whatever lives in there, used the phrase “splendid isolation” to describe the last decade or so. Â Sure I have had a splendid time, but very rarely did that rub off on others.
For some reason, one of the voices in my heart (and evidently not me, since I have never heard it before) found the phrase humorous, to the point where I eventually had to look it up to see what meaning it had beyond the obvious.
Evidently the era of Splendid Isolation was at the last height of the British empire, when it stood astride the world like a colossus. At the time, it had no allies or friends to support it, but neither did it need them. Â Albeit just barely not. Being alone in the world is precarious even for an empire, as I am sure the most recent contender has also begun to find out.
There is also a song with the title “Splendid Isolation” which is closer to the meaning in which I (or possibly myself) used it, but I have never heard it before. I am listening to it right now and neither the lyrics nor the music sounds familiar at all.
Then why do I recognize the phrase? Well, I really did not. It is one of those rare glimpses of there being someone else in min mindscape who knows things I have never heard of. You probably won’t see it unless you believe it, but of course I have the Presence, whether it is a tendril of God or a guardian or guiding angel or spirit. I am not a theologian, luckily for all involved probably.
But you see, this is exactly where the splendor come from and exactly why the isolation does not bother me. I think it bothers the Presence more, actually. Maybe I did not get all this blessing just to live a happy life in splendid isolation, but to share some of that splendor with others. I just have no idea where to begin, except for my work. Â And this journal, but I am not sure I can give you hope and courage and make you feel loved by telling you about my panic attacks and conversations with my heart. Well, not unless you know me already. In that case, it may amuse you a little, I hope.