It’s difficult to think deep, serious, life changing thoughts in the middle of a rock concert.
Obviously, rock concerts aren’t set up for deep thinking and meditation — so why try? But, in a sense, we do.
In the American corporate/entertainment society, being alone in a quiet place is an oddity, and for this reason, we are constantly encouraged to be part of a group: church is a big one, but the office, schools, political arena, sports, and community service sector try to fill in our time. Lately, social media plugs the gaps, demanding that we interact digitally with clumps of people we really don’t know — because somehow, their opinion of us matters.
It’s as if we live in the midst of a parking lot during a massive, unending tailgate party, and our success in life is determined by how many people we eat with.
But sometimes we find ourselves standing outside the group, watching all the activity, no longer invited to be a part of it. In any group, this generally happens when an individual questions the accepted rules and regulations, the overall belief system, the authority of the leader. Anyone who has ever attended a church, for example, and found themselves at variance with the protocols of its human leadership, knows how very quickly one can be isolated from what one had been taught was their “family.”
It seems like a very bad, lonely thing, but in the end, actually it can be a good thing — if we use our time alone wisely.
The artwork, Shades of Turquoise, gives a visual example of what this time alone looks like. If we walk out of that parking lot — which we’re no longer welcome to be in for some reason — and keep heading up into the countryside, into the wilderness, into the mountains, we find ourselves in a far more beautiful place.
You bet it’s quiet and isolated, and looking around from our campsite we don’t see anyone else around. But it’s time to stop thinking about how alone we are and focus, instead, on brewing something to drink on the camp stove. Then, we sit at the banks of the cold, clear lake and look up into the peaks of the mountains.
And in the silence, in the peace, we can think.
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