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A Return To Community Part 1
by Val Clark 
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I want to live the life of a hermit. A small, air-conditioned home, in the middle of a forest, with sea views, of course. I’d nip into the closest supermarket for supplies once a month and the closest church on Sunday. In. Out. I’d stay in contact with family via the internet.

Sadly that’s a reasonable description of the life I’m already living, in the middle of suburbia.

I teach one day of the week and work the equivalent of one day in the public library. I am committed to neither job.

I share a suburban property with three other people: my husband and his parents, and a dog. I spend my ‘non-working’ days gardening if the weather permits, with my nose in someone else’s book, lying on the bed creating stories, or at the computer writing them.

A degree of solitude is important for a writer. But so, I know in my heart, is community.

Spiritual abuse and its partner psychological pain have born in my life a desire for solitude. I fear that, if I truly enter into community again, I will be hurt. How many times can a soul cope with rejection and abandonment? How can church be satisfying when it raises more questions than it answers? When I constantly come away frustrated and alienated? When the emotional energy sacrificed trying to relate to people after church leaves me exhausted and can wipe me out for a day and a half?

I know, in my heart, it is time to move from solitude to community. From virtually being a hermit to becoming honestly engaged with the people I meet in the wider world.

How will I recognise community when I find it?

I turn to the One who loves me and ask Him to gently prepare me.

If you died today, are you absolutely certain that you would go to heaven? You can be! TRUST JESUS NOW

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Member Comments
Member Date
Christine Miles 05 Dec 2005
I hope you don't want us to slash and burn this article, Yeggy, cos there's nothing to slash and burn on it. I look forward to reading some of the following articles. Possibly, when you submit, you should plan to send the first three/four so that an editor can see that you're going to be moving along. Only two patches worth looking at: A small, air-conditioned home, in the middle of a forest, with sea views, of course. This sentence as it reads has too many commas. Try knocking some out - I'd probably keep the one following 'small' and before 'of course'. You might even think you can get rid of them all except the last one. Not sure, because grammar isn't my strongest point, but from a reader pov it would be less jumpy with less commas. Spiritual abuse and its partner psychological pain have born in my life..... I think I'd put a comma after partner and pain. Otherwise you've done an excellent job, and I really do want to see what happens. Write well. Christine
Karen Ward 05 Dec 2005
An honest assessment of life. Well written Yeggs. Looking forward to further parts... :) Karen
B Brenton 05 Dec 2005
Chilling. Solitude. "I turn to the One who loves me and ask Him to gently prepare me." I expect that the next one will take off from here... Thus I am very excited to see how it goes. Is this the stage you're at now, still ostracised from community? I feel for you... am sad for you. But am in the same boat myself. I rarely go out, rarely socialise. It's hard enough, with shyness... without having to socialise in another language! Anyway, I'm excited to see where this goes...
Julianne Jones 05 Dec 2005
Ok, I'll have a go at editing, but only because you asked! I agree with Christine re the second sentence. Why not something like: "A small air-conditioned home surrounded by forest and with sea views"? I'd leave off "of course" because it seems to imply a former relationship with the reader that you just wouldn't have if you are the hermit you say you are. The other change I would make would be to add commas to this sentence: "Spiritual abuse and its partner, psychological pain, have born in my life a desire for solitude." As for the content: don't change anything! I thought you were describing me for a moment! There is a message here that I believe is quite timely and needs to be heard. I'm looking forward to reading the rest and hope they display the same honesty and courage as this one. God Bless, Jules.
Suzanne R 05 Dec 2005
How very true ... not speaking for you per se but for many many isolated people scattered throughout suburbia. I echo everyone else in not being able to make it better ... I think you've done a great job with it and look forward to seeing the MC gradually integrate her way back into the community, how that happens etc.


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