I once had a wilderness experience in which I was all by my lonesome for four days.  It is amazing how thought patterns change in the absence of human interaction.  For me at least ‘monkey mind’ – jumping from one thought to the next haphazardly – disappears and is replaced with much longer cycle time.

  The days were filled with physical intensity and focus.  The nights were filled with stars and cerebration.  (“Stars, stars, stars!”  I wrote in my journal.*)  I can still recall the seeds of a cucumber sliding over my tongue down my parched throat and somehow making a connection between them and Orion’s belt.  I dunno.

  When I made it back to the Mirror Lake bus stop the only others there were a mother and young son.  Son looked at me and moved closer to his mother.  She looked at me and held him tightly.

  I said hello and hoped that they’d ask what I’d been up to so I could regale them with my tale of glory.  No response.  I suppose the Mom subscribed to a corollary of the theory I frequently repeat to my daughters: the only decent boy they’ll ever meet is their brother, myself included.

  Wife’s gone again and all this was running through my head last night.   Certainly, it is not the same at all just to be at home alone for several evenings in a row complete with any number of phone conversations.  But, still, one’s mind finds a different gear. 

  I agree with the French philosopher Pascal: “All men’s miseries derive from not being able to sit in a quiet room alone.”  If one cannot be comfortable alone with one’s own thoughts, how can he/she possibly have honest interaction with another?

  Even a dog. Know how you can talk to someone and be thinking about something completely different? Staring into the eyes of mine last night it dawned on me that a dog, at least a smart one, knows if you’re day dreaming or not.  With a dog you must commit.  They wait for engagement.

  How’s that for deep thinking?

  I also agree with Donne that “No man is an island”, but one is unable to really deeply understand that without an experience of real solitude. 

*While looking back in my journal I saw that I had been wondering how I measured up to others my girlfriend/future wife had been dating.   I was pretty much of a bum at the time.  In retrospect it is funny to have been concerned.  The ones I saw were all weasels.

One Response to “”

  1. andrew Says:

    Sauger looks pretty content in his spot on the bed.

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