Deliberation is the work of many men. Action of one alone.
Charles de Gaulle
Even an old squirrel can climb a tree. Once in a great while a squirrel will come and visit my balcony, and often the birds, Loneliness is a small price to pay for the peace and opportunities of solitude.
I love to go walking in a forest, if there is one to walk in, In my town there is only a small forest, hardly noticeable, which is what was left after the parking lot was finished. But it's preserved by the Nature Conservancy.
Forests are great, but I am also impressed by the solitaries in nature. When I was in high school there was a field near my school that was all open meadow except for one large oak tree. It has clearly been there for centuries rewarding the friendship of birds, squirrels and who knows what other forms of life that live under it's benign, majestic presence.
My favorite trail to hike in the White Mountains of New Hampshire was the Boulder Loop Trail, so called because shortly after the start of it there was a huge boulder, a single rock the size of a house. There were trees, shrubs and stones around it, but above all it stood in its silent, kingly aloneness.
The summit of that trail is a sheer and dangerous cliff, plummeting straight down to the bottom. Growing right out of the side of that cliff is a tree. From the edge of the cliff you can see only it's outer branches. But there is a safer place to stand to view the entire tree. It has made purchase in the ground beyond the crannies of the cliff, has turned itself up to catch the bright, unobstructed sun and rain and puts out fresh leaves every year to welcome the birds who come to visit.
Having spent my life in theatre where one is surrounded by other artists at all times, I now live alone and write. Do I speak my solitary words in the vast, teaming meadow to be read only by the few who pass by? Do I stand sentinel in the dark forest observing the passing of the seasons of young and old, ignorance and wisdom, kindness and cruelty, living and dying, hope and fear, right and wrong? Do I cling, aloof but full of life, to the dangerous side of imagination and experiment, defying the codes of ordinary being?
I do all of those because I am a vagabond and because I have words. Words are powerful things. They are engendered with force even if they are not read when written or heard when spoken. As my friend Stuart wrote today "I can use language I can survive." Language is equipped with magic fingers. It's branches touch every forsaken and unknown place in the unlimited universe. A single word can change the world, but if it is not heard or read who will be prepared? Alone in the forest a poet sang and raised the dead.
Wherever I go, whatever I do and whoever I am, I am what every other creature is: singular, alone, unique.
DB - The Vagabond
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