Coping with loneliness – who is the man in the pale moon light?

December 12, 2013

“Have you heard of the illness hysteria siberiana?…I read this somewhere a long time ago…it affects farmers living in Siberia. Try to imagine this. You’re a farmer, living all alone on the Siberian tundra. Day after day you plough your fields. As far as the eye can see, nothing. To the north, the horizon, to the east, the horizon, to the south, to the west, more of the same. Every morning, when the sun rises in the east, you go out to work in your fields. When it’s directly overhead, you take a break for lunch. When it sinks in the west, you go home to sleep…In the winter they stay at home and do indoor work. When spring comes, they go out into the fields again. You’re that farmer. Imagine it…And then one day something inside you dies…Day after day you watch the sun rise in the east, pass across the sky, then sink in the west, and something breaks inside you and dies…You begin walking toward the west. Heading toward a land that lies west of the sun. Like someone possessed, you walk on, day after day, not eating or drinking, until you collapse on the ground and die. That’s hysteria siberiana.”

― Haruki Murakami, South of the Border, West of the Sun


“I ride through endless rows of palms,
Stretching out like an surreal field of infinity,
I ride with the Sun to my back, always Westwards,
I am here but yet somewhere else, far removed from this place,
I’ve entered another dimension where I talk to the nation of dogs and monkeys, they don’t seem to have any problem understanding me. We are brothers.

During my rides, my wheels no longer touch the ground, they seem to skim across the surface like stones flung across a simmering lake,
I am floating most of the time in a cushion of air or make belief – it is hard to tell. And then it came to me, a whole hearted singleminded effort that just came out from nowhere – I saw the monkeys laughing at me. I laughed back. And in that fleeting moment, the the rhythm of a perfect circle was complete – it was mine to know and to keep – the sun is setting and soon the pulsing rhythm that rises above the worlds woes will sing out loud in the darkness of the jungle. In two days. I will be back home, I tell myself for the fifth time. Unfettered yet fitting in perfectly into this world. I’ve decided to travel light on this trip with only a knife and to live off the land. The rest of the world would never know what I see during my unusual solitary rides across this ocean of mystery. If they really knew I communed with the nation of wild dogs and monkeys what would they have to say? Maybe they will lock me up. Throw away the key? It matters not what others think in that other world that is so far away from this world I marinating in right now. They might as well all be on the surface of the moon, as I feel very like Will Smith in the movie, I am Legend. I am alone, just me and my giant black dog.

The jungle is a funny place, it can transform you without you even realizing it – only last night, I surprised a band of palm oil thieves. When one of the theives stumbled on me in the preamble of darkness and light with my face painted in camouflage with my dog by my side – the man fell to the ground and muttered, “Mercy….devil! Mercy!” At that very moment, I could sense the cold cinder of fear overwhelming his soul…I could even hear his heart pounding frantically as he crawled on the ground gasping for air as if an invisible hand held his throat in a death grip. For a moment he seemed transfixed by the sight of this strange figure who stood before him illuminated only by only the moon beam – who I wonder did this man really see? Was it me? Or could be someone else….

I must stop living this double life – what if others find out? What if it leaks out into the business world? Yes, I must really make an effort to live a normal life.”

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