Monday, June 06, 2005

A Visitor

My old friend, Loneliness, hadn't stopped by in so long I'd almost forgotten about him. Not that I often have company, but the noise and distractions of the world flood in despite my struggle for mindfulness. With two hornets' nests--one named "ego", the other, "the media"--swarming angrily in my brain, I hadn't noticed my solitude for an agreeably unmeasurable season. But sometimes, despite all my efforts, distractions settle like the particulate in a forgotten bauble. I start to feel restless and afraid, and then a knock comes at the door--Loneliness with his reminder of loss, whispering rumors of a happiness whose mythical dimensions only add to my sense of panic. How could I forget? Did I fall asleep, or get coddled by the comforts of religion, abstract thought, the echos of language?

I was happy in my solitude. The train tracks expand in the heat, and the dry grass makes an agreeable rustling under the tires of my bicycle. I can describe a line through the well-crafted world, and landscapes keep their general shape, while expanding or shrinking proportionally. The wind crawls across everything, invisible like the movements of a mind; my mind, your mind. But, then, you have your own wind, and your own invisibility. With only a little money, one can trade it for an assortment of objects at the thrift shop and these items will sing of life lent to them by the radiance of strangers. Still others prefer the distinction of new garments, but I have forgotten that pleasure. Everything I touch is alive with the narrative of decay and transformation. Nothing, not even money, can serve as insulation from the process. Loneliness chuckles as I set the kettle to boil. "You had forgotten how to suffer for lack of company," he says. "Yes," I say, "but how can I suffer when I'm chatting here with you?"

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