We are alone

in this ocean of people and things

and events…

We are alone 

with our thoughts and feelings,

our emotions. 

We are alone

always, at the deepest, barest core…

And yet, scared of being alone, 

we want to belong,

to be understood, 

to be patted and hugged and soothed. 

So we humor ourselves 

with people to talk and share our lives;

to create a chatter around us.

We create games and elaborate affairs 

to quell the silence that we so detest.

We dot our road with milestones,

and goals, and companions;

crowds of known and unknown.

We project our dreams and desires

onto our fellow travelers. 

We pin our hopes onto others, 

each with their own wants –

living and breathing 

and changing shape on an impulse.

And we propitiate our nerves 

by taking comfort in the noise

that surrounds us. 

Sounds, rising and falling 

and rising again –

the beats of the primordial dance –

following mindlessly in the footsteps 

of others before us,

like convicts…chained together.

We sway in drunken stupor,

devoid of senses,

bereft of sensibilities,

chasing shadows of a promised land.

A land that does not exist. 

In the excitement and chatter 

of the chase, 

we forget our essence 

and become a mere shadow 

of what we were meant to be.

Until one by one,

the pennants fall,

the bugles cease,

the throngs leave,

the mirage we created disappears.

We are left alone.

Unknown to ourselves. 

And then

we must unlearn 

the aeons of learning 

from the myriad grim voices of mankind,

passed on to us 

like a baton in the relay.

And then

we must learn –

in the discomfort of silence…

the luxury of our company, 

the freedom of being in our own skin,

of facing our feelings threadbare,

of listening to the tiny voice inside us,

of knowing our Self.

And in that knowledge,

we become aware

that we were always alone

in all the clutter and bondage 

that we willingly and painstakingly 

built around us.

And in that knowledge,

of being truly alone,

we become what we always were.