Alone in the World Together

IMG_5019I’ve been taking some more steps towards my goal in becoming a minimalist. It’s taking me years but it’s my journey and I’m doing it at the pace that works for me. Anyway, I’m clearing out the garage. Some of these boxes have been sealed since 2009. It’s been interesting seeing certain things and wondering “why did I ever waste my money on this?” Other things have brought me joy, and brought on waves of nostalgia. It’s amazing, the things which seem to bring me joy are the little things. Pictures of family and friends, cards and letters from family and friends, and other little momentous. On the surface they have no monetary value but scream love and caring.

I found a piece of paper on which I wrote an excerpt from a book I read back in 1992. It must have touched something in me then for me to have taken the time to write it down and annotate the date that I copied it. I was touched deeply reading it again and realized what it says still applies today.

Excerpt from The Moon and Sixpence – W. Somerset Maugham (copyright 1919)

(Each one of us is alone in the World. We seek pitifully to convey to others the treasures of our heart, but they have not the power to accept them, and so we go lonely, side by side but not together, unable to know our fellows and unknown by them.
We are like people living in a country whose language they know so little that, they are condemned to the banalities of the conversation manual. Their brain is seething with ideas, and they can only tell you that the umbrella of the gardener’s aunt is in the house.)

I can’t say I remember exactly what caused to want to remember this. What I can say right now, today, after reading it again is that it made me think of current social media. We are all out here “side by side but not together.” We say a lot but do we understand each other? Are we “unable to know our fellows?” and do we remain “unknown by them?” I know my “brain is seething with ideas.” I keep ninety-nine point nine percent of my ideas /thoughts to myself because I know it’s not possible to have discussions just for the sake of having a discussion. In my experience it seems everyone has an agenda or thinks everyone else has an agenda. Therefore, because of this we hide from each other and “are condemned to the banalities of the conversation manual.”

“We seek pitifully to convey to others the treasures of our heart, but they have not the power to accept them.” However I’m going to speak on one of the pleasures of my heart. I want to be able to sit around (with other people) in a room with big comfortable furniture. Surrounded by books, the smell of incense burning, eating pound cake and finger sandwiches, and drinking wine and coffee. Where no one has a chip on their shoulders and we talk about everything and nothing because no one has anything to prove to each other or the world. Instead of being “lonely, side by side but not together, unable to know our fellows and unknown by them.” We can lay our souls bare without fear of judgment and really get to know each.

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