The Single Narrative.

Vipassana MeditationI was at a meeting, an informal year end meeting, and someone asked me how my Christmas was shaping up.

I responded, “Quiet.”

“How are you going to spend it?”

“Quietly. Maybe make a ham, a few friends might stop by.”

A woman interjects, “What about your wife, your children?”

“I don’t have those.”

“He’s a loner”, someone says quietly.

“That’s sad”, she continues, and I look at her – she immediately regrets saying it, I see, but I respond.

“Is it? I’ve not found a woman who I can stand, or who can stand me. There are women I like, who I have liked, but no one that I could stand or who could stand me. Yet there’s nothing wrong with me, I am whole, no parts are missing. And I am not sad, I am not lonely, and I’m not a victim of society’s narrative where people must get married, must have children…”

The table is silent, I realize I need to cut this short. Yet I see nods of quiet assent, even from a few married people at the table.

“Why lose serenity by chasing happiness?”

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