Alone

'The Thinker'

This sculpture, from this angle looks like a Japanese mask. Warrior like. Powerful. Strong. Alone.

In 1997 I spent 6 months in Japan. It was the first time I left home and I was on the other side of the world. Although I made lots of friends and worked there, so was  settled in a routine, it was the first real experience of being alone. I definitely experienced loneliness rather than homesickness. On my days off work I would sometimes go to the local shrines or the ‘apple cafe’ to draw. I remember  on a walk up a mountain, and on resting, lying down on my back and seeing a circle made from the tall trees above me. Then watching a single swallow flying across the sky. Like a Haiku poem. I realised I was alone.

As a teenager, I do think I dwelled upon the world ‘alone’ being a lonely place. Now in adulthood, being literally on my own is almost a luxury. So when I do have the time to myself I relish it. I find strength in it. There is peace and contentment to be found in being with yourself. Which leads me to my next question, are we ever really alone?

Whether we are the only planet which inhabits life is one big question of being ‘alone’ or ‘not alone. For me, another more profound reason as to why I am not alone is my belief in God. We watched something last night that resonated with me. The idea that those who don’t believe in a higher being or struggle with the concept, need to have an absolute proof, a certainty that there is something ‘greater’, ‘a creator’. For myself, having had almost, a before and after experience. I feel that believing in something is not just simply a comfort, as it then brings up so many more struggles and challenges.

Yesterday, our eldest boy was having a conversation with a friend of ours.

 “Alien’s don’t exist” our boy said.

“How do you know? Asked the friend.

“Because in my dreams about space I don’t see any aliens”

I was amused and intrigued by this exchange. He had logically thought through, that if he didn’t see them (in his dreams) then they didn’t exist. Proof of children’s ever-changing states of mind, the number of drawings we have of aliens almost disproves his own argument. (I think he has seen them in his dreams!)

It made me think about the arguments:

Do we really need to see things clearly to know they exist?

Does finding comfort in the idea of a creator just stop us from thinking we are alone?

Or, do we struggle with the idea of being alone because when we are, we are forced to think more deeply about whether we really are?

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