Thursday, 23 April 2015

Terror of Solitude

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By the second month of ango I'd begun to feel like the protagonist in one of those "last man standing" science fiction novels, as if I'd survived some global cataclysm and was living alone on what I'd been able to save and scrounge. Except I wasn't a castaway; more like a runaway.

And there's the whole difference. Same physical state, opposite mental one. If I really were last, looking at dying alone, could I have kept up my practice? Or would desolation and futility have left me in despair?

I've been alone everywhere I've lived. The chances I will have made any difference in others' lives are vanishingly remote. Yet I have the balm of hope, which is a species of denial. As long as there are others, however theoretical, I may yet lead a natural life.

But if even that were to disappear? Could I live in true isolation? This is what terrifies a human soul.

Even mine.


(Adapted from 100 Days on the Mountain, copyright RK Henderson. Photo courtesy of רחלי בליפנטה אפוטה and Wikimedia Commons.)
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