To answer lovingly, I must accept that while I’m doing what I’m exceptionally good at, there is an uneasy restlessness. True to the meaning of my real name, I constantly feel the need to wander, to see the world, to live and die in the moment. Yet I tend to feel somewhat unimportant.
As the Bassist Charlie Haden opined:
“I think it’s very important to live in the present. One of the great things that improvising teaches you is the magic of the moment that you’re in, because when you improvise you’re in right now. You’re not in yesterday or tomorrow — you’re right in the moment. Being in that moment really gives you a perspective of life that you never get at any other time as far as learning about your ego. You have to see your unimportance before you can see your importance and your significance to the world.“
I’ve accepted the vision others see – that standing in crowds or during a church choir harmoniously singing unto heavens, a silent, solitary man witnesses each moment of life. Like a breeze sifting through a lone willow, I agile past most, savoring the brief momentary cusp before drifting onward upon natures wings. This silent exchange offers refuge from life’s frost, triages wounds and prepares the inner soul for another journey.
Knowing how to live alone does not mean to live in solitude, separated from other people, on a mountain in a cave. A nomadic lifestyle is not complete isolation, for one does intertwine with those who walk near, serve at restaurants and stores, those whom become my seat-mate on longer flights and so on. “Living alone” means living to have sovereignty of yourself, to have freedom, not to be dragged away by the past, not to be in fear of the future, not being pulled around by the circumstances of the present. We are always master of ourselves, we can grasp the situation as it is, and we are sovereign of the situation and of ourselves.
Still, a life of wandering requires one to accept some level of self-imposed internal isolation. And for those traversing such barren and lush lands, one often discards the very relationships most others accept, thrive upon and adore.
So, it’s very natural to query, “In living such a life, is it possible to love? Have I loved?” Of course, as my letters to Ms. K. can attest. In her, I saw the true nature of life, and arrived at a great freedom, built in the essence and foundation of true love. Some openly inquire of the lessons learned of love itself. And to those seeking to understand, I simply paraphrase Vera Nazarian, “… true friendship (and to me, true love), once recognized, is in essence effortless.” If it ain’t, then it isn’t.
I have a very clear picture of what I want to do and what I feel is important as far as my contribution or my appreciation and respect for this life we’re living. As a result, I tend to believe there’s a higher chance of finding a soul-mate if I’m doing something truly loved.
Buddha once recited a gatha:
“If you live without being imprisoned by the past, not being pulled away by the future, not being carried away by the forms and images of the present moment, living each moment of your life deeply, that is the true way of living alone.” Do not live alone just as an outer form, and there was a deeper way to live alone.”
Writer Rainer Maria Rilke penned, “I want to be with those who know secret things or else alone.” I focus on the present, for that’s where I’m destined to be.
Live the moments of daily life deeply and love.