Linda G. Hill

Life in progress

Changes

20 Comments

Every once in a while I find something that changes me. Often it’s a thought, an idea that will niggle its way into my consciousness and take root. Often it doesn’t last; I’m relatively sure this won’t either.

This particular change in me was brought on by my vacation. I woke up this morning at 5:40 and I decided to get up. Just me, on my own. I was tempted to go back to sleep: sleep is a rare commodity for me. But today I felt like I needed the solitude that followed me around for eleven days in Japan.

It was strange, being alone with so very many people around. An experience unique for all of its sameness – because really, aren’t we all alone? When I consider the fact that at any given moment, I am the only one who observes what I am observing from my perspective I have a profound sense of being alone in the world. When, in Japan, I took that thought one step further to realize that all the people around me have grown up and experienced the world in a foreign setting, with few of the same cultural experiences, I am taken to a new awareness altogether. I don’t believe I really lived until I had this feeling – and it’s one I truly revel in, as long as I feel safe. From what I’ve seen and how I felt, Japan has one of the safest societies on earth.

And so one of my most treasured experiences while I was there was walking countless times across the street in Shibuya, Tokyo, amidst hundreds of people crossing in every direction.

DSC00361

panoramic view of Shibuya crossing

Ah, the humanity.

Life-changing. For me.

And yet for so many it is simply life. Routine. They come out of the Hachiko exit where the famous statue resides on the DSC00343entirely indescribable side of the train station (there are two “south” entrances on different sides of the building) and they go to work, or meet a friend, or… or… whatever. I was simply wandering around this vast part of a vast world, all alone. No one I knew knew exactly where I was at that particular moment in time.

Just like when I’m having a coffee at 5:45am, all by myself in my living room.

I love it.

 

Author: LindaGHill

There's a writer in here, clawing her way out.

20 thoughts on “Changes

  1. One among many. That’s pretty dang cool, Linda G. Your mind is a powerful thing. I hope the morning Zen lasts because you appear to wear it well, my friend.

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  2. Sounds like a good experience πŸ˜€
    Glad you had some time for you!

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  3. I really hope that you had a great vacation Linda so you are filled up with new energy, when you are back home to the daily life, where you need all the abundance you can find, I think…
    You have been missed πŸ˜€

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  4. I loved how you were able to explain this odd yet lovely aloneness in a manner which is both beautiful and relatable. I have often fell that very same wonder while watching people going about their lives around me. I also love the gentle irony in the fact that this aloneness is universally experienced and therefore were are least alone in our aloneness. Lovely post, thank you.

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  5. I enjoy being alone, I mean it may sound strange but being alone is actually something I enjoy. I’ve been to New York City four times in my life and each time I have spent at least an hour of it just sitting on a bench. Not a special bench, just a regular old seat somewhere in the city. It’s amazing to see the hundreds of people pass you every minute. No one knows you and you don’t know them. It’s something about that I like, being around so many people but at the same time being alone as well.

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    • It’s not strange at all – I think there is a certain comfort in it, somehow. I just really, apart from meeting a few friends when I was in Japan, spent eleven days like that. Walking or sitting alone, simply watching life happen around me. It was incredible. πŸ™‚

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  6. Glad to see you back, Linda

    We are all alone and all together all at once. It’s something that keeps coming back to me all the time. πŸ™‚

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  7. It is a neat feeling to be alone while surrounded by people isn’t it? A very unique feeling and i enjoy it as well.

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    • Very neat. Glad to know I’m not “alone” in enjoying it. πŸ˜‰

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    • I can’t help reflecting on my experiences in India. Growing up on the great plains gave me the sense that I deserved to be alone anytime I chose, but being in India let me know that others can experience that solitude even while living in a congested, almost strangling population. There was a prompt on WordPress Daily Post which suggested we write about “Room to Breathe,” and suggested an actual dream-room setting. I turned that around to write about “Breathing Room” and talked about the stifling lifestyle in India (https://pilgrimstranger39.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=453&action=edit). To me, breathing room is vital for a healthy mental state. I pity those who do not have it, whether it is getting up at the crack of dawn or living in a pastoral setting.

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