Sunday, March 18, 2018


Good to see the world come alive again, after the silence and inaction of Nyepi Day. Regardless of our habitual complaints about noise and traffic, the total removal of sensory input is just a bit too austere. I guess I wouldn't make for much of a hermetic mystic or desert sage. I am more just a run-of-the-mill type hermit.

I remember going camping one summer and finding the campground at Trout Lake totally unoccupied. How nice! was my first thought. The entire campground, the entire lake, the entire forest as far as the eye can see was mine alone!

However, one soon begins to be aware of the pressing immensity of the world, and of how terribly infinitesimal he himself is. The wide open forest possesses nonetheless a closed, forbidding character. One's very footsteps begin to seem an invasion.

I hiked to the next lake up the hill and noted at the top of the trail a large mound of bear shit. Fresh bear shit. Wading out into the lake, beginning to fish, I spied on the shoreline, some distance away, two bears. And they spied me. How very alone I was. Without companion. Without the defense, however fanciful, of human alliance.    

So much for fishing.

There is something to be said--much to be said--for the sound of a human voice, the sight of a fellow sojourner in the world. One will notice, in any case, that the typical occupation of the man stranded on a deserted island is finding a way to get off the deserted island!

So I am glad for the world, and for the friendly faces at my coffee spot, the pleasant greetings from those I know, the two pretty women who just walked in, the people at the next table staring at their laptops just as I am doing, the buzz of the cars and motorbikes on the road, the smile of the little girl in the white hat and blue dress, the people passing in the mall on the other side of the window.

Hello again, world!

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