Alone with myself I understand the dilemma of the ages. It is how to be alone but not lonely. How not to fill the minutes mechanically but to spend them like gold. They will not pass this way again. Time does not go in reverse, but it does go in circles around the face of the clock.
And as the minute and hour hands go rhythmically by, our faces show the marks left by time. I look in the mirror, see new signs of “clock damage.” It takes longer for me to retrieve names and I quickly forget what I had for lunch. We are being riddled with the bullets of time.
The light plays on the leaves of the juicy green poplar trees in the backyard, but it means business with me. My neck crunches when I turn it and my tummy, once so trim, now is softly rounded just like my mother’s was.
Memories play around the edges of my mind. Most sad, melancholy, fraught with tenderness for what never was. The daughter never grown up, the husband never grown old. But me, I am left with that job.
What keeps me going? The vitality with which I approach the keyboard, striking letters to make words into sentences and sentences into paragraphs. This is what I am charged to do; in this way I stay eternally connected to God. I dip into the timeless state like a diver in search of pearls. I never tire of it.
The day has gone by slowly. The biscuits didn’t rise in the oven. A new heating coil must be ordered. I ate them almost done but not quite. I am reading a book set in a restaurant where everyone speeds through their shifts, one step ahead of the hounds. I move at my own pace. I drink coffee and eat cookies. I companion myself in the silence of wisdom. Wisdom hovers over me as I type, lest I leave out the most important reason why I write. What is it, I wonder. What is it?
I write myself into existence. Otherwise I would be no one doing nothing. Take away my keyboard and the silence lays claim to the space again. Silence owns everything and in a good way. I will let it have the last word at some point, but not today. Today I live the dilemma and I share it with you. Don’t paper over your discomfort and struggle. Let it live until it dies, until love itself takes its place. Remember yourself always and everywhere. That is what M. Gurdjieff advocated. Vernon Howard yelled at us to do that. Jesus alluded to it. We must find a way back home. That is one reason to write. To remember love.