Song for the day, The Opposite of Loneliness is Home

allen and samOpposite of Loneliness

Years ago, I took part in a discussion at which the leader asked a question: what is the opposite of faith? After several of us had offered our thoughts, he suggested that the best answer might be “control.” (If you can control everything to your liking, then there is no need for faith … that was his thinking.)
Since then, I have found it a helpful practice, when I’m trying to understand what a word means, to explore its opposites. And I try to exclude the obvious answer. For instance, if I’m considering the opposite of “life,” I’ll start by saying that I cannot use the word “death” though that might be my first impulse. The exercise is a good one for groups and has lead to some really interesting, insightful, eye-opening conversations.
So, the opposite of “loneliness”?
The title of this song has been in my idea book for awhile and i’ve worked on it from time to time but today, July 15, 2009, seemed a good day to finish it.
I had written the first two thirds of the song (the parts before the key change) when I took a break this morning to go with some friends to wish Benjamin “Shorty” Floyd a happy birthday. Those of you who’ve heard “People In My Town” know Shorty, my neighbor two miles east of here. He is a dear friend and a wise soul. Today is his 85th birthday.
After the seven of us sang “happy birthday” to Shorty, he spontaneously said, “and I hope I have many more.” And then he paused, a pregnant pause full of thought, and said, “well, no I don’t.” And it was clear that he meant what he said. He still gets around, lives alone and takes care of himself, but it seems to me that he’s a bit tired, that he’s seen as much of this world as he wants to see, that he misses a place he’s not yet seen, and that he’s ready for Home.
I returned to the studio and finished the song.