Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Prelude: You And Me

We introduce ourselves / To Planets and to Flowers / But with ourselves / Have etiquettes / Embarrassments / And awes EMILY DICKINSON

We are stardust, we are golden JONI MITCHELL

Hello? Are you looking? Can you see? Ah, there you are. And this is me. I know I must often disappoint you, as you often disappoint me. But that is a fact of life. It should not be a disappointing fact. It is just a fact of nature. That is all. If we are disappointed with each other we might as well say we are disappointed with a frog, or with the beached shards of flotsam and jetsam at the sea's edge, or with the gentle soughing of the wind in the alder trees encircling the lake. In other words, "disappoint" is the wrong word. In this context the whole idea of "disappointment" is the wrong idea, and a uniquely human idea.

I will put it another way. Here I am. And there you are. Yes, I am somewhere in here, and you are somewhere out there. Indisputable fact? I think you may be in a small space, perhaps in a woodpecker's hole, or in a hare's form maybe, hidden in a little resting place in the woods or the corn fields, in a small refuge scooped out and sheltered from the wind and the rain.

Or perhaps you are to be found in one of those bigger spaces, exposed in the vast nothingness or somethingness between the stars, in the interstices of thought, or somewhere out among the uncaring, ice-cold molecules of the oceans.

Wherever we are, whoever we are, we are both insignificant — from the perspective of the universe. But from another viewpoint — and everything has another viewpoint — we may possess some tiny piece of significance, some unique, pulsating, significant identifier, some beating energy pulsing at our own eccentric rate, an erratic rate unique to ourselves.

We are all frighteningly yet also comfortingly unique. We are all the product of a completely individual set of genes and influences and experiences and other unalterable circumstances. And if we can recognise this uniqueness, this potentially alienating, yet also healthy, human, natural, necessary, inevitable difference between us, and respect it, and not fear or fight or criticize or ignore or reject it, then I think we may be getting somewhere. We may even be able to embrace this unique difference which keeps us apart; indeed, in the end, it may be the very thing which binds us together.

Hello? Let's look. Let's look and see. Here am I, and there are you, and you and you and all of you. A million miles away, yet somewhere here inside of me too, in some peculiar, mystical, electromagnetic way. Didn't Joni Mitchell once sing about us all being stardust? And about getting ourselves back to the Garden?

Let us all bow our heads to the different gods within each one of us.


From THE SOLITARY WALKER's blog, 12 July 2008


  1. Namaste, to you as well, my friend. This post comes to me this morning almost by way of synchronicity, for the issue of "disappointment in others" is one that has been reverberating throughout my mind for the past few weeks. "Disappointment" is such a loaded word, and I would prefer to exorcise it from my personal vocabulary.

    You touch upon an undeniable paradox, specifically, that we are both insignificant and uniquely significant in the larger scheme of things. We are insignificant as specks of the same golden stardust; yet, in our own infinitesimal ways, we are both unique and vital. Living with this reality is always challenging, for we want to believe that we are worth something as individuals, but we also know at a deeper level that we will never find comfort until we are reconciled with the Oneness of things.

  2. "If we are disappointed with each other we might as well say we are disappointed with a frog . . .". I so agree. I also must let you know how much I love your side-quotes (and your noting them in the last post led me back again--thank you for that). I suspect my view will change from day to day, depending on what the day brings, but, for today, I love Wilde's particularly.

  3. Like a syonchronicity and for the last few days, I thought a lot about the fact we are each over an unique part of the world but not unique in the world. Thanks for this post SW ! Mike

  4. George, Susan and Mike — thanks for reading!

  5. My thoughts have been running along these same things lately too, like George. I find this a really wonderful exploration of the solitude and individuality we each are, and don't even begin to know!

  6. Thanks for reading, Ruth, It means a lot to me.