New Theme: Alone
that was a good drum break.
My pink plastic glasses, translucent and heavy, slide down my nose as I squint in the brightness and cautiously navigate the shoulder of the road. Joanne crosses Lakeshore Drive ahead of me, striding out onto the blacktop of the crosswalk with nary a hitch in her step. Her bare feet are always tougher than mine.
We each carry large black tire tubes that are almost as large as we are, and beach towels. Joanne wears a blue and white Speedo tank, and I sport a green and white bandeau top with matching skirt bottom. Hers looks somehow right on her tanned and athletic body. Mine has little frogs and bubbles on it, and hangs awkwardly on my skinny hips.
I struggle to keep up with her, every step a grimace. "Joanne," I say finally. "Wait up."
I have allowed some of my distress to make something like annoyance creep into my voice, and we both hear it at once. I immediately regret it, and hold out hope that the moment will just pass. Perhaps she will have been distracted, and...
When she turns to look at me, though, I know I will not be so lucky. The worst is coming. She is going to say, "Well, sorrrreeeee," in a not-at-all-sorry voice, and spend the rest of the afternoon giving me the cold shoulder. Not a word will pass between us until at least tomorrow, and her mother will make us play games all evening in the cabin, blissfully oblivious to my discomfort.
It turns out to be something different. She cuts a look at my tube, which I am carrying up high against my waist, staggering slightly while she rolls her tube ahead of her, not missing a beat despite curbs and other obstacles.
I misinterpret, and put my tube down, rolling it ahead of me as she does, but without the skill. "Tsk!" she utters, giving me a dirty look, and picks hers up.
Again, I misstep, picking up the tube so she can feel comfortable putting hers down. "Tsk!" A more furious dirty look. I am doomed. The sun bores into my shoulders.
When I am sick after supper, sick as I always am lately, they pass me the cards to Clue under the bathroom door so I can keep playing. "You guys always play so well together," remarks Mrs. Walsh.
Alone is sometimes my favorite place. Tucked away from the frenzy of the world, the demands of friends and family, the job, the city, the hassles -- it's my place to just be *me*. I venture there every chance I can get. It's warm and comfortable -- it's familiar.
Alone means thoughts, deep, wrapped in conscious, developing, nurturing, blossoming into ideal-ogies. Alone means writing, inspiration, contemplation.
Alone, cliche as it sounds, never means the same thing as being lonely. It's a coveted gift you give yourself.
Alone is happy. Alone is strength. Alone is understanding. Alone is a blessing sometimes.
Alone is sometimes a necessity -- but some people fail to see its beauty, or understand it. They see it as some kind of punishment, when it most decidedly is not. Yet when they open their minds and hearts to its embrace, they soon learn how beautiful it is and welcome it as dearly as I do.
The Way Home
Along the river,
during the night
on this road.
Footsteps become distant
away from the feet
The path narrows,
the brake lights of passing cars.
If only it could reach them.
Cushioned by darkness,
lulled out by distance
it walks with me,
Puts its arm around my shoulders,
and welcomes me with a warm embrace.
An old friend who whispers,
Orion's stars are fixed in steady motion.
I return the gaze.
I have a quotation from Brian Keenan, the Irishman held hostage by Islamic fundamentalists/Palestinian guerrillas in Beirut:
"Aloneness is something we carry with us at all times, yet how do we understand it and, more importantly, how do we value it? Most of us hardly know where to begin to unearth this part of ourselves.
All our lives we are told that love, sharing, human community, is the ultimate source of all happiness and well-being. I am convinced that this is not wholly true, and that human happiness is heightened when human beings learn to cope with aloneness; when they learn how to navigate without love, companionship or the trappings of religion.
Aloneness is not a dreadful place once we understand how to be with ourselves on our own."
from 'Between Extremes' by Brian Keenan and John McCarthy
discoveries of alone
first of all,
I own a paintbrush.
Which becomes a drumstick, from time to time.
Clean dishes make clearer music than dirty ones.
Skipping is an acceptable way to go to the grocery store, but not on the return trip.
Dancing in the kitchen is much more enjoyable with a dish towel as a partner.
Flowers mean just as much.
I don’t eat much; all the cookies are MINE.
Singing should not be reserved for showers alone.
the darkness minimizes reality.
A wag from the neighbor’s dog feels so good.
Steering my bike with my feet is just as cool as it was when I was nine.
Someone has to take the garbage out. Eventually.
Making forts is a good use of futon cushions and blankets, but not very comfortable to sleep in.
School playgrounds are special places on saturdays.
Being alone all the time does something to your ability to speak coherent sentences.
It's okay to take a taxi home if it's raining.
It's even better to walk home when it's raining.
bubbles can be made with the dish soap dispenser.
Yesterday I went for a walk somewhere I haven't been in a long time. In fact, I'd never been exactly *there* before, only in the vicinity; a trail as of yet unexplored by me.
I took a sandwich and some water; no music. I wanted to hear nothing except sounds I would encounter along the way.
I heard the wind whooshing in the trees; I heard birdcalls, hawk cries, woodpeckers making tattoos on trees high above in the cool recesses of the pine forest; squirrels chittering and rustling in the branches; lizards skittering across the dry rocky path in front of me to disappear in cracks in mossy granite boulders. I heard many insect sounds since I had forgotten to bring bug repellant - gnats, figeaters, bumblebees, bee-flies, loud and faint by turns. For about five minutes at one point, I repeatedly heard the loud, dry vibration of a rattlesnake's tail as I approached him, hidden in some dry bushes, out of the reach of the hot sun; approached him and backed away; heard him as I approached the path by him again, wanting to pass to get to the field of blue and white lupines I had been told lay ahead. Heard him announce his irritation yet again as I tapped at the ground exploratively with my walking stick; heard his final admonition as I finally ran headlong past him, the chilling rattle lasting long after I'd gone.
Every so often I heard a "hello" from a fellow visitor, but very seldom. I was mostly on my own.
I also saw and smelled some wonderful things, but I could have done that had I gone with a friend. One of the best reasons to be alone is to hear the symphony of quiet sound that fills silence.
Shadows flicker against my mind. A hint of panic somewhere, everywhere. I wake to the sound of demons twisting and howling in the basement below me. Their claws garb at my feet as I cross the living room on my way to face them. Scratching, tearing, they try their best. Their howls shatter my will. Their screams tear at my flesh. I see their eyes in my mind, they see me. We begin our duel, man vs. beast. I turn the corner, and begin down the steps to meet my fate. They lick their lips in anticipation. I hear their giggles, their small yips of delight as the moment draws near. I reach out, confident that my hand will meet its end before it can complete its appointed task, but it holds true and the light is on. I duck down against the wall, bracing for their impact. My eyes scour the room. I know their games, their trickery. They hide in the open and show themselves in hiding. But all is quiet. The light back off, I retrace my steps. Back into bed, back into sleep. The dreams return and so do the beasts. They wait for another chance. They're always there: waiting.
A poem I wrote in 1995 - man that was a bad year....
I want the sky to crack open
And let its liquid loose in torrents
Till I wake to the sound at my window
I will throw the covers wide
And let the cool air harden my nipples
Lie and listen to the steady downpour
As the lightning paints my body white
I will think of you in your bed
An audience to the same symphony
And reach for you
Only to find the incessant rain
I know you will ask.
There is no sense of it, from your angle.
You will say,
“Separately, we can help you.
Together, through fences and mistrust, we can join you.
Despite our poison, we can cure you.”
Snake oil at best. Arsenic at worst.
“Trust us. We will build a bridge, you and I.
The butt of this gun is our hammer.
Our words, the nails.
Pay no heed to the burn marks on the wood we bring.”
They are the charred planks of past bridges.
“Never mind the aggression, the anarchy left in our path.
Look beyond our actions and see our words.
Our intentions are pure, our strength is reliable.
We know how to heal you.”
And this I will say,
“This is my problem, not yours.
I can not risk you turning away at a critical moment.
I can not hold my tongue when you will claim to be the victim
of this atrocity of which you have not endured.”
“The strength of which you shout,
the hope of which you propose,
the clarity of which you seem to dwell
are all but missing from where you stand.”
“You claim trust, you claim virtue
as those closest to you walk away.
So now, walk with them.
Let me fight this in peace. Alone.”
I know I should ask.
There is no sense of it, from my angle.
Are you ever really alone?
Even in the loneliest of times, you have your thoughts with you...when people say they are alone I wonder..what does that really mean?
Is the want for human touch, the need to belong...so much that you get depressed due to the lack of it.
I like the time..spent with myself at leisure...alas...that doesn;t happen to often anymore...time alone with my brainwaves...awaken me to many things...which in my day-to-day wanderings I would never notice...the flower in new bloom...the slight chill in the air...my longing to get away from work
But right now it's just me and my work...alone
alone, my thoughts betray me. convice me of what is not real, not true. alone they twist me, turn me, burn me like the desert sun. they consume me, laughing. alone my thoughts haunt me. they shake my head, pull my eyes out and show them to me. alone i am me. alone
Alone...I meditate upon my thoughts
Alone..I hear the sounds of life
Alone...I hear the winds whisper to me
Alone...I feel a calm come over me
Alone...I never feel alone
|All times are GMT -3. The time now is 12:26 AM.|
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.