Tuesday, June 12, 2007

A Little Lonely or a Lot of Alone?

One of the things I've been thinking about out here is the difference between loneliness and alone-ness. I often think of friends and family or comfortable chairs or warm shelters, or home, and I miss them. And it makes me feel sad and lonely, at least momentarily. But the feeling passes.

But the aloneness I feel out here is a whole different animal. It's a feeling that permeates my existence out here. There is nothing in this world of nature I'm in and travelling through that cares about my existence. Neither positive nor negative. Whether I live or die, suffer or celebrate, this world has no response; it makes no judgements. One would have to create religion, I suppose, to feel otherwise.

But this aloneness doesn't make me feel sad at all. It just seems to heighten my alertness and awareness that I have only myself to rely on. There's nobody nearby who either cares about me or can help me besides myself, so I'd better act accordingly. Is there an element of fear? I think so, at least something close to fear.

Oddly (or maybe not oddly), this feeling also makes me value more the relationships I have with people. It makes me feel a tighter bond to my friends and family and more welcoming to strangers in my life. I guess I'm not cut out to be a hermit. Who'd have guessed??

So to anyone who's reading this, thanks for being a part of my life, and I hope we get to spend a lot more good times together.

Here's lookin at you...


Bernd said...

Great thoughts, Rimbeaux.
Looking forward to seeing you and hearing your stories in person.

Anonymous said...

We are holding you close in our thoughts. The blog is great! Nice to hear you are safe. Looking at the pics of your hands I know you are coveting my lovely yellow rubber river gloves from the last Grand trip. Oh well. Kath

Anonymous said...

Happy belated b-day! Another Gemini... that might explain why you're not feeling overtly alone or lonely. We're relaxing pondside with Margaritas in hand, +32, thunderstorms brewing.

Bill pulled out the binos thinking he'd seen an unusual small black animal by the river, but it turned out to be a tumbleweed of Squid's fur in the wind (I brushed her yesterday)! That's the extent of our wildlife - except for grouse, merganser ducks, great blue heron, a doe and fawn, groundhogs, muskrats, painted turtle, garter snakes, dragonflies the size of your weathered hands and the usual cottage rodents.

Just got back from Vancouver with my Mom. She has a 2nd new hip at 83 and was rarin' to go, so that was fun. We went to visit her three siblings, all of them over 82 and in various states of disrepair. My Grandma had a baby about every 16 months. They tended to have them in Fort Vermillion, Alberta, then take the brood up the Peace River by boat and canoe to the Revillon Freres outposts my Grandfather managed (they were the French fur trading competiiton to the Hudson Bay Company).

Such adventure! My parents met a Chinese guy at a party last weekend in Edmonton - he had been a pilot ferrying supplies from China to India (at 30,000') to Chiang Kai Shek's army , over the "Hump" of the Himalayas in the early 40's. He's the the last of six surviving pilots.

Perhaps the last visit for me with the aunties and uncle - internally you're saying goodbye when you give them a hug, but in our culture of denial you can't really verbalize that and everyone just says take care, see you soon.

I brought back a frosty suitcase of fresh fish... Copper Creek Alaska sockeye, Fanny Bay oysters, fresh tuna, smoked salmon. We had some very appreciative friends over for a great feast. I used to live in Sooke, on the west coast of Vancouver Island, and hate to miss a chance to eat fresh oysters - I do them the way they serve them at Mom's cafe - breaded in cracker crumbs, fried in butter, dipped in Heinz ketchup! You can take the girl out of the country but you cain't.....

So summer's breezin' along, heatin' up and chillin' out... God willing we will all get the right amount of sunshine and rain to make life pleasant.

Your blog is great - we've been along for the ride (not dragging our hands in the water, honest) and really enjoying reading about your existential adventure. Take good care, be safe and look forward to your stories of the shining big sea waters.

Alone but never lonely is how I like to be

(that's Bill channelling Murray MacLachan)

...without government, religion, morality or judgement, your thoughts remind Bill of L'etranger.

Lots of love KT, BB + Squid