Day follows night, innocence then experience – the world consists of movements between states, sometimes called entropy, it is the essence of growth, of life.
We, exist in a world that is always changing – our perceptions leading us on a journey through space and time – this is ace; and the way it should be, or at least, the way it is.
Yet, if I boil this down to the journey which we are all undertaking, that is, life, the only way to experience the changing states is through an understanding of the narrative of the continuity – take for example, a person who has been deprived of contact with the outside world (I am thinking here of Albert Woodfox, the man featured in this Sunday’s Observer) – what happens to the continuity of his life now that he has been released from prison, or in his case, decades of solitary confinement? What of the people who have grown old or died, the changes in attitudes, beliefs, colours and sounds – I cannot imagine what it is like to reconnect after such a hiatus. I suspect, this must translate into areas of experience that he can never reach, that are gone forever. What was it like living in America during 9/11, in solitary confinement, lock-down?
I imagine, when you are separated from society for such a long time and you have not lived-through the shared experiences of others, the ups and downs, things are forever going to be different – nothing can ever taste the same.
And what of expressions, turns of phrase, colloquialisms or clichés? What of the pace of the world when you are disconnected?
All of us are somehow apart from others, that is the essence of Being Human – we can only ever exist in the solitary confinement of our own minds, connection, when it happens is only ever temporary, an illusion.
It is said that we are only really together in spirit or in soul, our bodies can never connect at the same level – we can move together, act together, sing and cry together, yet we are only ever separate, only ever individuals occupying space. But, at the level of the spirit, the context that exists outside of that, continuity is restored, for then, we are never really apart.
When we are apart, although we exist in different spaces, so long as we have a spiritual connection, we are together – I think of the distance in time and geography that separates me from my family and friends; the infinitesimal, experiences and conditions that have now gone and can never be replicated, and yet, we are somehow together, in a more meaningful way than say, Facebook ‘likes’ – we live, exist at a level that defies the distance.
And yes, when I am not there, I am there, there is a part of me that is living alongside, living within, that is me, that is the essence, that is the spirit that carries on – just, as the person, within the people I know who are affected by dementia remain the John or Ray or Colin, those who were once children and now a men, just as the crepitations of time, encroach upon us, within, beneath; inside, all of us, there is the part of the other.
By Rashid mod – couppourcoup31.fr, CC0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=39391732