There was no reason to leave the house. For what? Go where? See who? I need a shower. What do I wear? I’m sick of jeans. Do I have to put on make-up? How far is it, do I even know how to get there? Images of an auto accident fill my head, are the roads clear … ?
These are the mental wanderings of a recluse. It’s not really about the questions they ask themselves, well, little of it is. It’s about thriving in the protective fog that comfortably obscures their lives from an angry world. Few people even know they’re there. The fewer people they encounter the better their chances of keeping it that way. Like an addict who can’t resist a drug run, recluses tell themselves whatever it takes to keep their world calm & safe, uninterrupted, in tact, and the best way to do that is to secret themselves on the roadside of others’ too-busy-to-notice lives.
Don’t be misled into thinking that’s a weak vulnerability – certainly not, quite the opposite. Being a recluse is anything but easy. Some people are born with a tendency toward shyness, but a recluse has made a conscious decision.
Recluses no longer have a need to prove themselves. They find no satisfaction running around stimulating false senses of self-worth through frantic activities or superficial relationships that always, ultimately, disappoint. They’ve had all of life’s adrenaline-rushes they care to experience, which, in good part, is why they are where they are.
Somewhere along the line they’ve earned their right not to be what society demands. They don’t know when that happened but they do know they’re not going to feel guilty about it anymore. Their “Get-R-Done” days served them well and now they are done getting ‘er done. Though they appreciate the value of a society that embraces those outgoing personalities, they know, individually, none are more valuable than the next without the whole body of work.
Understandably, outsiders probably miss the nuances of how caring and personable recluses can be. The intensity with which they feel for others is what’s caused them to withdraw. They’ve made an informed decision to shield what good is left in them rather than adapt to a world that demands so much secession from all that is good. It’s the only way they know to live in their own skins. It takes a strong character to willingly accept the consequences of isolation, especially for a recluse whose very nature is to reach out in unabated affection.
Some have landed in a peaceful and reflective place. They’re a joy to engage when they are engaged because of where they are within themselves. Others are embittered by the unfairness of their pain, less approachable, mean-spirited or even scary, because that’s all they know in ensuring the safe barrier they are so compelled to keep.
Much as a pond of water seems an insignificant speck in the world that surrounds us, within that speck lives an entire universe of life all to itself. So goes the recluse. The questions of little relevance that they play in their minds perpetuate the blanket of fog needed to secret themselves out of clear sight, much like the fish that changes color to fade into its environment in protecting against predators. The denser the fog, the better. It forces us to evaluate the road ahead before we go speeding through it and it serves up reasons to stay in our uninterrupted safe place just one more day.
You don’t plan to live engulfed by a fog. It just happens. One day you find yourself there and you like it. So you stay.
In response to WordPress Daily Prompt, Fog.