The strength you summon in weakness will never leave.
Silence need not be the absence of speech, the embittered swallowing of unspoken criticism, condemnation, and blame; the harsh, unfeeling, unsympathetic withdrawal from certain confrontation. Silence is not weakness, but strength. It is how the force of words uttered unfairly against you is turned, with greatest ease, back upon she or he who uttered them. It was once taught that silence is bravery. Silence is patience, resignation, perseverance, tolerance, persistence – not bravery. Courage begins at that point, that moment, when resistance overcomes submission. The bravery that follows is loud.
Silence may also be a place of refuge, of rest, of acceptance of a person, just as she or he is. Surrender and acceptance alone grant strength. Denial, refusal, hesitation, postponement, cowardice render only the perpetuation of suffering. I wanted it; that was my weakness. I needed it; that was my weakness. I did not get it; that was my strength. I was not given it; that was my strength. There are only two tragedies in life – not getting what you want, and getting it.
Struggle is for those whose weakness and fear demand compliance to mass indoctrination, acquiescence to mass hysteria, resignation of individual will to collective deceit. To struggle is to wallow, to flounder, to thresh, to flail, to blunder, to stagger, to falter, to fail. Struggle, by definition, is prolonged. In its protraction, it achieves nothing. Recall Sisyphus, king of Corinth, condemned in Tartarus to roll a huge stone up a hill, only to have it roll back down to the foot of the hill again, each time he neared the top. Endlessly he toiled, ceaselessly he laboured, futilely he struggled – all for naught.
Those with the courage and the strength to stand alone, fight alone. Battles, either won or lost, replace struggle. Every battle won is an affirmation of life, of freedom earned, an obstacle overcome, a step forward. Every battle lost is a lesson learned; not a retreat, but a respite, time to re-hone one’s weapons, to re-gird oneself, to make ready for renewed battle.
You spend your childhood learning to be brave. You spend your adulthood learning to fear. Beware. I am fearless. Therein alone lies my power. In all-embracing surrender lies my only strength. Between recollection and reverie, there is life. Fuck fear. Forbid it. All fear is fallacy. Surrender is not submission. It is courage, defiant of all threats, forswearing hope for conviction.
Though I have spent most of my life alone, I have not been lonely. Abandoned by my parents at age seven, cut adrift, denied both roots and destination, unable to find my way back to anything familiar, to my own company I became inured. I found a way back, a way forward, on my own. It was not to avoid hurt that I became alone; it was in acceptance of mastery over my own destiny, however that might unfold. Before words coalesced into sentences, sentences melded into paragraphs, paragraphs emerged onto pages, and the urge to write arose in me, reading taught me, too, to be alone. Finding solace in my own company, I was not lonely on my own.
Freedom does not fear isolation. I was free as I was able to withdraw from others, feeling no need whatsoever for their care, their celebrity, their charm, their companionship, their company, their compassion, their concern, their conversation, their curiosity. I was free, because in silence and in solitude, I found serenity rather than loneliness. In being alone, I learned fearlessness; I learned to heal myself, to heal another. In the comfort of my seclusion, I was released from confining attachment to others; I came to know my true inviolability, my unerring vulnerability, my unassailable insuperability.
When in dread, delusion, doubt, all the sacred wisdom of all the ages will but confound. Undaunted, receptive, enlightened, one word alone disentangles everything – Believe. Belief is always an individual choice, a personal decision, a singular commitment. My precepts are my own. Aside from the universal, eternal mandates incumbent upon all of nature to abide, the tenets of any and every singular community, group, organisation, or system are purely self-interested, self-sustaining. My belief is in my unique destiny alone, and in my innate capability, my inherent capacity, to fulfil that unprecedented, unparalleled, inimitable fate. Only she or he who reminds you of no one else is worthy of memory.
Eventually, every one will end up exactly where she or he needs to be, either alone or with another, exactly as is meant to be, doing exactly what she or he should be doing. The path to this eventual consummation is punctuated by preference, by selection. Correct choices shorten that path; incorrect choices lengthen it. All along, if you know what you are looking for, you will know what you will find. This, though, only if the path you follow is your own, by covenant of destiny. If another is to share your path for a time, short or long, true togetherness will be found only with that someone else who wants as much as you to be alone.
A writer needs three things – exile, solitude, and cunning. When presented with easy and with difficult, choose difficult. If anyone can have it, refuse it. If anyone can do it, refrain. If everyone thinks it, think differently. If everyone wants it, shun it.
If you cannot be alone, fettered as you are by fear, you were born enthralled; your reliance upon others, your master, your overlord.
Choose to be one, or no one.