Robert (gurdonark) wrote,

Parallel Lives

"As lines so loves oblique may well
Themselves in every angle greet:
But ours so truly parallel,
Though infinite can never meet.

Therefore the love which us doth bind,
But Fate so enviously debars,
Is the conjunction of the mind,
And opposition of the stars".--Andrew Marvell

I think tonight of the people on my friends' lists, each located in an altogether place from the places I inhabit, not only geographically, but in other ways as well.

I like to drive through traffic on the freeway, and imagine thousands upon thousands of lives, entirely separate from my own. The fact that the separation is by degrees does not change the reality of the distance. Thousands upon thousands of minds--a thing known to exist only in this one planet, and then not thought to exist in this form not for many light years away.

We all share a common spark of consciousness, although it burns a mildly different flame in each of us. We believe different things about what that spark means, and what happens when it extinguishes.

I went today to a Korean cafe called the Joy House, where the staff patiently helped me because I know Korean food "by taste" well enough, I don't (apart ftom the obvious, such as kim chee) know Korean food by the English transliteration of the Korean words, but only by descriptions such as "bbq beef", which, though inadequate, give me a touchstone. The woman at the counter helped me through the "naming problems" of the food. The modest "self serve" cafe was crowded with people I've never seen before, most of whom are likely people I'll never see again, many of whom were speaking a language I don't speak. I would not know them if they spoke Gurdon Arkansas Prime English, of course. We'd just smile and say "how are y'all doin?" a bit more. In a metropolitan area of millions, one can meet all the people one can possibly meet, and yet a giant void f "unknowingness" exists. Even in friendly Texas there is that way in which people do not all live in my mind, but are "other than me".

I take comfort in this most of the time--an unmet friend could await through each new doorway. Even on LiveJournal, one is added to a journal of a near-complete stranger, and suddenly one can be introduced into a life which entirely enchants and delights. The people are so diverse. Many roads lead to the "Rome" of time, but they do not always intersect. The intersections can be lovely, though.

Tomorrow I will hope to rise at dawn; or, failing that, at an early hour. I will celebrate with strangers a religious holiday of renewal. Then we will each go to our own homes, to our own little sagas.

It's wonderful to live among so many lives. It's frightening to live among so many lives. It's a wonderful and frightening thing to live at all. One of my wife's childhood friends lost a family member today, a woman in her late forties.

It all passes so quickly. There are only candles to light, and prayers to say, and songs to sing, and smiles to share, and tears to cry.

Tonight we go listen to Texas roots music, and try to find a moment's peace. I bid all of my friends a a moment of a disparate and yet similar peace on this Saturday, although your lives are all so far away, and so different from my own.

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