One Morning Before The Great Wall…..All Alone.
January 6, 2008
To be alone is an opportunity, a state brimming with the prospects of reclaiming the ‘I’ that has been mortgaged to the ‘we’— no this is not a page turner, but if you allow it, it may very well be a life changer. The art of being alone these days is underrated, so it should be. After all don’t we live under the sodium ark light of the internet age when tangled sheets are strewn before us.
However, as I stand early this morning on a stretch of the great wall that doesn’t look so great. I am trying very hard to remind myself, my right to be alone should never be an apology if it stands any chance of being transformed into an art.
What really is the allure of solitude? I have absolutely no idea. I guess if I am stretched out on a pelt rack to state the case; the right to be alone is really where we have the opportunity to discover that we are ‘not half’ but a sovereign whole. It took me a while to gather this – you must forgive me, how I struggle with these things. I wouldn’t say it came to me in the first cut, but rather through the years when I was apart from you. The gnawing awareness surface. I saw it everywhere once, in places people least expect to see it, in conferences rooms etched across the face of an older woman who looked at me with desire – there amid the balmy chatter, she might as well be in a sphere of her own making, in a space of aloneness as removed as a desolate island in shark infested waters – what was going through her mind?
Yes, in this place, a woman, any woman is free to admit and act on her desires. It’s where she can really be honest and forthright to herself. Here she doesn’t need to nurse her hatred of men who have two timed or treated her like dirt – here in this place called ‘Me and myself against the world,’ so far removed, you can even say, she doesn’t have a choice but to discard the remnants of what it means to be a woman the way the world wants to see her -the spoiling belief that accounts for why she has to remain timid, insecure, and fearful - here in this secret garden, she’s whole, complete and true to realize true autonomy - she has wings.
Here, she says, I don’t need a man, I don’t need a partner. I don’t need someone to take care of me - she says that to herself, at least three times a day, when she looks at herself in the mirror to affirm her belief, it simply must be this way – the world, my world, a world without him - that’s the funny thing about a woman who has learnt the art of being alone, she can just as well derive joy from afar in a way a painter and poet wax lyrical no end about the affairs of primroses and turnips in July.
Breathe don’t worry, don’t flush, where I stand is where I shall go no further, not even so much, as a single step.
I respect your decision.
I have to don’t I? Though forgive me, if I say, I don’t pretend to understand why – I know you are reading this, I know, but what can I say, except to comfort myself in the early morn balm, yes, surely providence must reward such a man who chooses to stand before the crumbling granduer of what used to be, she must give him; redemption, if she is still to remain providence - there, there, here it comes….. the jester of life knows a few tricks and one of them is how; two people can still remain apart and still walk side by side – do you feel my warmth? Do you feel the soft fluttering rush?
It’s time to jog back, it’s time to rejoin the ‘we’ and say good bye to the ‘I’. The vermillion sun will rise soon and where will we be in the ferment of the imagination when the world lays seige to our ordinary lifes?
Somewhere in this sea of grey, I am here and you are there and there’s the beginning and end of our story.
You have no idea how much I have missed you. Absolutely no idea.
How could you? You’re the woman who has mastered the art of being alone, and. I am simply whose standing before a wall…..a great wall…..breathe….it’s another day.
I am Darkness 2008 (Beijing)