When was the last time you stood alone?
So much in this post.
In one sense I have been alone most of my life, and in other senses I have always had company.
As a very small child I had my parents, particularly my mum. Being tongue tied was a real issue as a baby, it meant that I could not get my tongue high enough in my mouth to get enough suck to breast feed – so I ended up being bottle fed. That was a real issue for my mum, and might be an influence on my fascination with breasts and their form, and that’s a different story.
As I grew up, the inability to make an “r” sound, made communication very difficult, and meant that the bullies teased me, and picked on me, which sent me into libraries and books as places of safety. So I formed communities across time and space with the authors of books, rather than communities with living people (few of whom could understand me, and some of whom were very aggressive towards me).
It seems to me that we are all both alone and together, in many different senses.
We are all each individuals, with our own personal experiences, our personal stories and meanings and choices and pathways, joys and sorrows, hopes and fears,….
At the same time no human being can exist alone. We become human, we learn language and behaviour, in a culture of many people. No single human can create language alone, it takes many generations of communities. Every word in language carries the shadows of the experience of the people that have created the word, and used it and given it context and meaning.
We each carry shadows of those who came before us and who we have interacted with, within us, in many different ways. We carry the shadows of the genetic influences of all of our ancestors in our genes. We carry the shadows of all of the cultures of our past in the cultural experiences of life. We carry the shadows of the authors and their subjects from every book we have read or heard or seen, every conversation we have heard or been part of.
Because I was not usually invited to be part of conversations, I would often practice listening to many conversations simultaneously, and developed the skill of being able to listen to every conversation in a restaurant, as I sat alone and ate.
For me, I not only have the shadows of all of the various levels of me that I have been in my past, but also my versions of all of those authors of all the thousands of books I have read or listened to, movies and documentaries I have seen and every speaker I have listened to, in every bar and shop and workplace and meeting and street and house I have been.
So in this sense I am never alone, I have multitudes within me.
And in another sense, every real other person I meet is so much more complex than the models I have of the people of my past; that real discussion is often far more productive of real novelty than the internal versions (and both have their uses and power).
As a hunter, and as a trained observer of zoological behaviour, I see similarities in behaviours between all sorts of animals – alarms calls, distress calls, territorial displays, dominance displays.
So being alone is never alone in a sense, it is always in a context of being, and being alone can be so in many possible contexts.
I have been alone in standing as a candidate for election to parliament on a platform of using technology to deliver universal abundance. I started doing that 10 years ago, and have done it at three general elections.
And I can empathise with everything Sandi says. We live at so many different levels, and need to be comfortable with what we are at each of those levels, at least to the degree to which we have awareness, and in my case that means with a confidence that I am so much more than I will ever be capable of consciously comprehending; and I can enjoy making the efforts I do, and reaching the degrees of understanding that I do; and I make no claims of perfection, only approximation.