There are times in my life when it seems like I don’t have a clue about anything. When nothing seems to make sense. I’m in the middle of one of those times when I am reminded of the uncertainty of everything. I get up a little bit early today. It is raining again. The flat I am staying in is a block off the Mediterranean Sea in the small resort town of Sitges. Most of the night I’ve listened to the sounds of the waves crashing against the shore, which although slightly distant now were very close as I walked from the town’s centre last night. From this corner near the church where I now sit, have breakfast and think, I walked along the shore, the sand giving way under my boots. These thoughts of confusion began last night during this walk. The meaning of life, as clichéd as that sounds, omnipresent in my mind. I question everything that I have done and what I am. I question why I should do anything in the future. I feel blank. What is the importance of trying, of constant learning, of love? I walk to the end of the rocky pier about half way back, the town’s lights far enough behind me so that I cast no shadow in the dark ocean. I stare into the blackness of the sea alone on the edge of the world and wonder what it might offer me, if there might be a message about my life. Nothing is clear, there are no outlines, no shapes, only the constant sound of the water shifting against the rock. Perhaps this represents my life. I feel contempt for myself and my efforts.
My sleep is restless, my thoughts no more clear when I wake. I begin to be reminded why it is so easy for people to cling to structure and tradition. Why people don’t travel far from home. Why people worship an all powerful and knowing being, follow religion, visit the same cafe every morning, why obsessive compulsiveness or addictions form. So many ways we are in life seem to be a response to the great uncertainty of life, to create for ourselves meaning, or to mask and hide from the possibility that there is none at all.
I have a wonderful breakfast, of eggs, toast, tomato, and ham. The rain falls harder. It’s time for me to return to the flat and pack for the trip to Barcelona. The only thing that I am certain of this morning is that there is me. I’m alone in the world with other people who are alone in this world. During my solo journey it is nice, even welcome, when another offers to help make sense of my experience. It becomes less confusing and painful in the darker times and more joyous and clear in the bright times. To hold my hand and to say that they see a similar thing is very comforting and helpful. Perhaps this is my meaning, perhaps it is meaning we all share – to help those other solitary travelers be more comfortable in their journeys with the hope that they will offer us the same.
To do this work of travelling together we must learn to hear one another’s voices and develop connections among ourselves. In this effort we must also learn to hear our own voices. I believe we are strengthened by learning that we express ourselves in many ways, with many different voices, and as we do this we create connections with one another.