Tuesday, May 17, 2016

May 17, 2016 - Desolation


I come out to the rocks because I can think there unfettered by useless distractions.  In this place, I cannot be fooled.  I cannot be distracted or tempted away or guilted into doing something.  There is no cellphone here and no civilization.  There are no stores to shop at and nothing in the form of entertainment.  It’s a pretty desolate spot.

Desolation appears to be necessary in life.  Our lives are not fueled by abundance and plenty, but rather by lack and need.  Not many people living in opulence stop to wonder how they can improve their situation.  It’s lack and need that fuel desire and ambition.  It’s desolation that gives rise to the poet’s emotions and the artist’s impressions.

A desolate spot.
A certain amount of desolation, pain, and loneliness is required to cultivate kindness, generosity, and friendship.  If we were surrounded by the things we wanted all the time--all the friendships we could ever desire, all the wealth, clothing, money, food, etc., just everything--we would never develop need and want.  And more’s the pity for that.  We would never know what yearning is, what a burning desire and hope in the heart feel like.

We are surrounded by distractions that make us think we have more than we actually do.  They makes us think we have wealth and companionship, or at least they make us too busy to realize that we don’t have wealth or companionship or, for many people, even the basic needs of life.  Our distractions keep us busy.  They keep us entertained and forgetful.

Oddly enough, these distractions are in and of themselves a hidden desolation.  Like any desolation, however, if properly recognized, they can be used to force us to think, to force us to finally do what we need to do, to fuel our true desires and ambitions.  But that’s a difficult road to go, and not many people can do it.  It’s too easy to get sucked back into the phony entertainment and tacky glitter.  It takes a lot to be able to see through the utter nothingness of our modern distractions to the heart of desolation.

So we go out and we find the lonely spots on Earth.  We find the places where we are alone, where we can just sit with the wind whipping at our backs as we stare out and make our decisions about life, make our plans for the future, make peace with the Universe.  We find the lonely places that help us to make fresh starts, to commit once again to life.  With our vision unclouded by the crass tinsel and tawdry glitter of the modern world, we can finally see who we are.

And the only way to do this is to stand before the Universe with no smokescreens, no distractions, nothing hiding us from the world or the world from us.  We can say what we’re thinking out loud--very loudly, in fact.  There’s no one there to hear us.  Except for ourselves.  Finally.  That’s what the lonely, windy places bring us.  They bring us ourselves.

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