We are born alone and we die alone.
Wait a minute! you argue. We’re born surrounded by a mama and papa (if we’re lucky) and a doctor who doesn’t throw his bloody gloves against the wall. If we’re lucky. The on-call doctor who delivered our firstborn was so angry at the interruption of his sleep that he shoved forceps around the head of our precious innocent baby and tugged him out ferociously before throwing his bloody gloves against the wall. Don’t forget sweet nurses who coo and cuddle and wrap us in swaddling clothes (if we’re lucky, like we were, after the doctor stomped from the delivery room.)
Nonetheless, I assert that, when it’s all said and done, when we’re clapped upon our tender backs and sent off to kindergarten and Senior Prom and into that first boring job where we mourn all our hoped-for impossible dreams, we somehow, somewhere, must acknowledge that it’s a solitary job and only we can find our way through the labyrinth called life.
When we’re on that death-bed, perhaps cognizant, perhaps unconscious, perhaps unrecognizable, only we alone shall make the leap into the Unknown, that continent called Death, that tunnel of light which leads beyond our bodies who once taunted “sticks and stones can break my bones, but words can never hurt me…”
It’s a solitary job sandwiched between a thousand people, nay, maybe a million people but you, you, sweet singer, precious dancer, you with the hole in the center of your being that we all have–YOU must determine the way you’ll walk and somehow learn to honor yourself, your precious movement, your confused meanderings, your not-knowing, your next moment.
This week a dear friend spoke about the hole in the center of her heart, the center of her being, and I do believe it exists for all of us my friend, unless you’ve covered yours up with affirmations and positive thought and singing “Oh What a Beautiful Morning” the way I’ve sometimes covered up my hole.
We’re all broken, and we’re all solitary, and simultaneously–here’s the good news–we’re all completely whole beneath all the stories we tell ourselves in our ever-churning mind. We’re all basically innocent and spanking newborn before the doctor throws his bloody gloves and we start mourning the couldas, wouldas, shouldas.
It’s a Solitary job, solitary confinement on this planet, actually, because, OK folks, lean close, I’m gonna tell you a secret: underneath all the thoughts, the plans to grocery shop, the regrets, the anger, the twinkling ballet feet there is One Awareness which exists in all of us. One seeing. One God. One Allah. One All. One Buddha. One Great Spirit. One hearing. One perception which you’re glimpsing right now through your very eyes, your blue eyes, your brown eyes, your disagreeing eyes, your agreeing eyes.
A solitary Oneness which embraces the seven billion of us who love, weep, kill, sing in the shower and dance in the rain. That Oneness expresses itself in a play where people pretend they are individuals, separate, solitary, experiencing all that life offers.
Where, do you ask, do I get my proof?
In the following photo, my friends.
It’s not called an interconnected web of life for nothing. You bounce and I feel it. I giggle and you laugh. He shoots his gun and we cry. You lose your way and we understand, how we understand, and we’ll help you search for your path because it’s OUR PATH, our world, our solitary spinning planet…
P.S. This post is brought to you today by the Weekly Photo Challenge at WordPress. The theme this week? Share a picture that means SOLITARY to you! OK, folks, here’s a few solitary pictures and an essay to boot in which we attempt to somehow bridge the gap between solitary and interdependent, if you don’t mind.