I used to go out to the streets and cry because of seeing these huge concrete houses, in which everyone seemed to be secluded, trapped in their own thoughts and problems. I looked at the closed windows and behind them I imagined people separated and miserable. Sometimes I even felt angry, wondering why we led ourselves to this place of separation, not knowing or even caring to know our neighbours anymore.
I was thinking about old tribes living in communion with nature, to whom every rock, plant and animal were equally respectable companion, equipped with a soul not inferior to the human one. Had life ever been this way – obviously, I cannot be sure. How can we know whether we had ever lived in caves or been what is now called pagans? The only real moment is now. The only real day is today and may tomorrow take care of itself.
It did not matter if these fantasies of mine could be perceived as true – I missed this “authentic” life of the tribes which I only imagined. And I missed several things about it. The profound human connections. The relationship with and respect for Mother Earth. The tangible community bonds instead of virtual Facebook connections. The central fireplace around which we used to gather, tell stories, and feel the togetherness.
Oh yes, the togetherness was that which I perceived amiss. At the same time I hid behind my inhibitions and turned my eyes away while interacting with others. Yet, secretly even to myself, I longed for the feeling of being together.
This is something I realized one cold morning, waking up after another drunken night full of pretending and my unconscious behaviours. Then I went outside into the grey Sunday afternoon in the middle of winter. The world consisted of blocks of flats and their windows, many of which were lit with light bulbs belonging to the same people that I once decided to perceive as separated from me. The playgrounds and pavements among these blocks were deserted and silent. I sat on one of the benches, allowing myself to embrace this world just as it appeared to me. Then the insight came.
We are all closing ourselves in flats and rooms, looking to experience aloneness and listen to our thoughts. But it is not some disastrous plight of separation that drives us to do this. What happens on the outside is just an indication of inner processes going on in our evolution. Evolution of our society, our species.
From that point on I decided to see the enormous blocks of flats in a new way. They are necessary and they serve us well. They provide everyone with their small private space where we can lock ourselves off from the chaos perceived in the outer world. These separate flats and rooms allow us to sit in our own companion and digest the distress, pain, tears, humility, fear and anger that have been with us for as long as we can remember. This is what we need, apparently, because this is what is happening.
This may last for a while – of course, we cannot know how long it takes. But I believe that after we dig through all these layers of misery covering our joy, we will be ready once again to go out and play together. We are going to break the grey walls separating our worlds and reunite, because we will then know who we are.
The playgrounds and streets will once again be full of life and laughter.