This morning I face a blank page. Being alone, having morning coffee, listening to the birds chirping out in the forest, I come to write, to somehow appease this deep sense that I am forever alone. Why do I feel the need to appease this sense of loneliness? It is not something I can eliminate, for it is with me when I go to my bed at night; it is still with me when I encounter another day.
I pick up the tattered book I have carried and read these last forty years: The First and Last Freedom, by Jiddu Krishnamurti. I open it randomly and find his words in response to someone asking, “I am beginning to realize that I am very lonely. What am I to do?” He talks about how we are all so conditioned by civilization, that none of us are willing to face this being alone. We strive to find escape, via relationship, making money, entertainment, social interaction, creating art. We seek out any activity to help us flee from this feeling of being so alone. In my case, I use my writing. Does it actually help?
This last week, along with millions of others, I am aware of how a person none of us knew, yet enjoyed so much, Robin Williams, left this dimension. He was the last person anyone would have suspected was not happy with his life. However, this is the case with so many of us. We put on the best front possible, in order to convince others and hopefully, ourselves, that we are actually “on top of it.” We do not really wish to face the fact that we come in to this life to challenges we wish to overcome, so we can move on to another unknown. It does not matter how successful in life we may appear. The fact remains that each and every one of us must face ourselves, embrace ourselves, be who we truly are, with all our foibles, our gifts, our thoughts, our actions. Ultimately, we judge ourselves, and usually these judgments are conditioned by the circumstances under which we are born, how we are raised, how we believe others see us. When that feedback disappears, and we look deeply into our own psyches, we are sometimes terrified, or somehow find peace. It is never easy and is, at times, significantly uncomfortable. There is no escape, and even if there is another person close with whom one might confide, they are not the answer to the void one might be feeling. For someone like Robin Williams to decide he is done with the search is disconcerting to the rest of us. After all, did he not have it all? He was incredibly talented, energetic, and giving. He was loved. Apparently this was not enough.
I turned on the radio and listened to the world news on National Public radio as I had my morning coffee. My tears flowed as I listened to how this world is conflict ridden, at how so many live in perpetual fear for their lives, at how greed seems to dictate what happens daily on this planet. I turned off the “news,” repetitive as it is.
I look around me and wonder what I will do today. Shall I vacuum the cabin, to try to avoid the flea infestation that happens every year during these hot summer days? Shall I wash those dishes that are already piling up in the sink? Shall I bake a batch of cookies for my friend who lives down the way? Today is his birthday. Shall I prepare a dish to take to the party being thrown for him tomorrow, even though the introverted part of me does not really wish to attend? The morning is passing quickly. Soon it will be too hot to go outside and weed whack the tall foliage that is taking over. Instead, I muse on how I have nobody with whom to eat breakfast. I have no one with whom to share a good morning hug. I live in this void of being alone, yet I feel so blessed to actually be here. I send out a vision, a hologram from my mind, enveloping all who suffer, who fear, who have not enough to eat and no place to sleep, envisioning a moment where each will know freedom. After all, despite all the turmoil and insanity present in this world, we each will arrive at the moment we get to leave this place. We will look back with an overview, with possibly a level of detachment that is freeing. We will know we did the best we could this lifetime, with all the heaviness in the world, embracing the bit of joy we may have known. We will move on, and whether or not we learned anything will be determined at a later time.
Today is a blank page. The crickets are united in their sounds, hidden in the composting foliage on the forest floor, or clinging to the branches of trees. A gentle breeze is present, and the sun is higher. All is quiet, and I am free to choose what I may do today. This page is no longer blank, yet the next moment is. May all be free, including me.