To be alone. Is this possible so long as your mind functions? It poses questions. Transports you back to spaces, times, people, and emotions. You know that it and the people are real because they reflect things that you’ve lived. Concrete to abstract to concrete, again.
Time alone with my thoughts or a book or an interesting project around the house are golden to me. Touchstones, really. They remind me that I am here. That I have agency and autonomy in a seeming rush of obligation and empathy. Do I have to “Like” the latest meme or unnerving news article posted on my Facebook news feed? Does anyone besides me appreciate the qualitative difference between a Like, Love, Haha, Wow, Sad or Angry emoticon on Facebook? I admit to being one of those folks who wanted more response options when a Like fell woefully short of my feelings about a post. Unfortunately, I often feel very extra when the choice between these six options falls short of visceral and I have to give it too much thought. It seems like a lot of work for something that few people seem to notice. When I “Wow” or “Haha” a post, I give some thought to whether someone might misinterpret my reaction. It’s at those times that I’m reminded of the power of interaction in the present and in presence. Real time and synchronous, rather than atemporal and asynchronous. Lordy B, you are waxing philosophical about Facebook! Hmm, well, it is one of those technological ties that bind so many of us together. Facebook transcends time, distance and interests. The spectrum of class in our world remains an unconquered frontier, but I’m all for kiosks that enable the most disenfranchised to connect with the people and places beyond their worldview. It could add some needed bricks to the foundation of globalization and lifelines to the invisible, undiscovered and forgotten ones who share this world with us.
I like the sound of rain against my windows in contrast with the silence in my home. To be alone with the silence, attenuate the sounds, amplify the extraneous sounds, and give birth to flights of fancy. Ideas turned anthems. The seemingly silly a prescient poem. Maybe, an insistently catastrophizing mind turned a deep and powerful fountain of affirmation. Maya’s caged bird will sing and the bells will toll, and I wonder what I will bring to the world from my time alone. My cabal of contemplation. Meditations on merriment and misery. Surly smiles and riotous repose. So many contradictions to examine, disentangle and reconcile–and you wonder why I need my time. The Isely Brothers sang that “I got work to do” and this rings true. Toll, bell, toll. Somebody get that bird. I don’t want to choke the bird, but it’s overcoming my silence and I like my silence.