It was John Dunne who said that “no man is an island,” reasoning that we are all part of the whole, part of each other. But there are times when I stare out into the fog, and I believe that every man is an island. Sometimes the fog is physical, as in this photo. Oftentimes it is an emotional occurrence. I know for myself that I often walk around shrouded in a mist even on the sunniest of days.
|Shrouded in mist . . .|
The fog prevents us from seeing the others. John Dunne might argue that it doesn’t matter if we can see them or not because we operate as a whole, and what happens to the one happens to the many. He might argue that the idea of us being separate entities is an illusion. Perhaps on a gentler day I would agree with him. But there are times . . .
Standing on the foggy shore, the light burns and yearns to break through, but the fog holds. There’s not a soul around. There never is. I think everyone stands on the foggy shore, peering out into the gloom, trying to reach the light. Reaching and failing, becoming encompassed by the mist. We are all alone. There are over seven billion people in the world, and we are all alone.
And there is a bell that tolls. Here on the ocean, it always tolls, an old clanking bell echoing in the distance. I can never figure out where it comes from, but yes, it tolls for me.