On Being Alone


This begins with Jesus.
He comes upon a man born deaf.
And he separates him from the other people.
Jesus takes the man where they can be alone.
So he can spit, and dawdle, and chant incantations.
Whatever he feels impelled to do that day.
Whatever it was, he wanted to do it alone.

For me, there’s alone—
and there’s alone.
Being alone physically gives me the actual space to bump around, bump up against, climb slippery slopes, and shout into the wind.

And this feels good.
Really, really good.

But then there are those times
when I shut my eyes.
And see.

It’s here—there are times—
when I wish I weren’t alone.
Alone with the visions.
Some shocking like an electric eel.
Some horrifying.
One very sickening.

And then there is the problem of inscrutableness.
The form.  The shape.  The sound, perhaps.

And I am left alone in my life to figure it all out.

But that means all that time with the image before me.

For me to see alone.

No one to see it with me.
Or to be there after the seeing.

But it’s the aloneness of sitting there
and seeing.
The aloneness reverberates around me,
as though I am inside a cathedral bell
that someone else is ringing.

The whole experience can feel like it’s too much.

That I don’t have enough space
inside my being alone.
I feel so small.
The images can be so big.
So complex.

So part of something else.

When I am not part of anything but me.

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