Aloneness Is an island, Beautiful, peaceful, A world of one's Own making.
Yet also, Isolated, Adrift, no anchor, Ever searching For a home.
One day in the middle of the big, wide ocean the sea floor began to tremble. Then it shook violently. A plume of smoke and steam shot up through the sand. The shaking continued for many days. Finally the plume reached the ocean surface. Red hot lava rocks shot into the air, raining ash everywhere. After many days, the volcano grew so big that it emerged from the water to make an island in the ocean. The island was hot and bothered. It had been a violent beginning. But the ocean waves washed over her and the sea breeze blew across her rocks. Now she was cool and calm. But she was lonely. All about her were rocks and nothing else. “There must be something more,” she said to herself. “Rocks can’t be the only thing on Earth.” She waited and waited, watching the horizon. A bit of lichen began to grow on her rocks and a few insects arrived from far away. Around the island, little sea animals came to live. In the shallow water near her shore, sea urchins and sea stars and other little animals came to live. They were fun to watch but they never came onto the island so she could not talk to them. The waves washed up on the island every day, pounding her rocky shore. Rains came and left puddles in her porous rocks. The wind blew hard sometimes and broke up the rocks. Soon there was a little sandy beach on the island. One day, a bird arrived on the island, carrying a long stalk of grass in its beak. It alit on a rock and dropped the stalk of grass. “Hello,” said the island. “Are you coming to live on me?” The bird didn’t answer. It just pooped on the rock then flew off. More birds came and went. None of them stayed, but their guano mixed with the rocks to make soil and the seeds they dropped began to sprout. More plants grew and soon there were green patches among the brown soil and the black lava rocks. One day, a large round seed washed up onto the island. It was a coconut. It rooted itself in a green patch and began to grow. After many days, it grew into a fine, tall tree. Now there was shade from the sun on the island. Another large bird arrived. “Hello,” the island greeted it as politely as she knew how. “Wouldn’t you like to live here? I have plants to eat and insects and a fine tree for shade.” “Yes, you are a nice little island,” the bird answered. “I think I will build my nest here.” So the bird stayed. Soon her mate arrived. They built a nest in a hollow near the palm tree. The bird laid three eggs. The eggs hatched and the island now had five inhabitants. The island had fun watching the little hatchlings learn to fly. But all too soon, they flew away. “We’ll be back next year,” the parents called out as they flew away. The island was glad the birds would return. But now she was lonely once again. She waited and waited. Finally one day, a boat stopped by. “What a little island,” the man and woman in the boat said. “We can’t live here. But we can stop here to fix our sail. And look, there are even coconuts to eat!” The man climbed the tree and threw down some coconuts to the woman. They stayed that night and the next. Then their boat was fixed and they went on. They hadn’t noticed that two little mice had jumped off their boat onto the island. When the people left in their boat, the little mice came out to look for seeds to eat. “Welcome,” the little island said. “Will you stay here to live? I have fresh water and plenty of seeds. I have hiding places and good spots to build a nest. There are no predators to bother you.” The mice answered, “You are a nice little island. We will stay.” So the little mice gathered seeds, made a nest and raised a little family. On the first day that their babies left the nest, the parent mice said to the island, “Thank you.” “You are welcome,” the island said. She felt very proud and happy. Now she would no longer be lonely.
The Mist of Life translation of Hermann Hesse's Im Nebel
Strange, in the mist to wander! Lonely are bush and stone, No tree sees the other, Each is alone.
Full was my world of friends, While yet my life was bright; Now that the mist descends, All have vanished from sight.
Truly wise no one can be, Who the dark not kenns, That inescapably and calmly Him from all others rends.
Strange, in the mist to wander! Life is to be lone. No one knows the other, Each is alone.
Each is a floating island Drifting in an expanse of sea. Shifting winds and currents Our courses mark, our lots determine.
Islands touch and lock, While others bump and drift apart, Some just float along, And all in time will sink and part.
Course and lot are fixed, Rudders and anchors of little avail. Action is not ours to take, Reaction alone is for our shaping.
To accept the given with dignity, Or wring one's hands and tear one's hair In utter despair or wild protest? The choice is yours, the choice is mine!
Together we live but alone we are, Aloneness is our existential lot, Togetherness our social drive.
Alone and together we live and thrive, Alone and together we ail and die, A wondrous meld of opposites.
An epigram a day:
An only child is a lonely child.
Aloneness is existential lot, loneliness is personal plight.
Aloneness is our lot, loneliness is our choice.
Aloneness is an inescapable condition of life.
Togetherness is choice, aloneness is lot.
Aloneness is a fertile breeding ground for thought.
We come alone, we are alone, we leave alone. That is our lot.
Píccola has her say:
When left alone I am so forlorn. I crawl into my cave to wait Until I hear you at the gate.
Do not accept aloneness; Somewhere there is a pack you can join.
When your master leaves, sit in his favorite spot; This will cause him to return.
Greet your masters with full glee And maybe next time they won't leave.