Tuesday, May 14, 2013


"Italy Walk", acrylic,
by John K. Harrell

       It’s strange that most of us see ourselves, at least sometimes, as basically separate and alone in this life – strange, because togetherness is perhaps the most fundamental force in the universe. We can’t be alone, even if we wanted to, for all of life is linked in innumerable and unbreakable ways. To take a simple example, when I see people passing by on the street, they live, if briefly, inside me, in my eyesight and my thoughts. They have their own private lives, but those lives are linked to mine as I carry them, for a few seconds, inside me. We are, in a sense, side by side in our lives as we pass along the street. We share this world in special but unseen ways – by breathing the same air as we pass, by seeing the same sunlight and feeling the same air flowing past us, by placing our feet down on the same spinning planet as we walk. Even our feelings are shared among us, for who can keep a feeling from flowing out to everyone? A feeling, be it love or loneliness, cannot be kept inside us like locked boxes, since all feelings flow among all people like the sea among the dwellers in the sea. If I’m sad, I’m simply sharing in the sadness of the world, and any happiness that happens to pass through me is the same happiness that lifts up lives in Indonesia and Indianapolis. We dwell in endless alliances, whether we like it or not. We are comrades and collaborators, created by the same extraordinary universe and seeking, side by side, the same happiness that heals us all.        

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