12/25/2018 08:19

Home Alone

Those of us who live by ourselves (Buddy, Wheatley, Fluffy, and I) are mostly content. It is the life we know and chose and there are many days when we hardly see another soul except perhaps enwrapped by an automobile on the street. But there is a difference when the aloneness is not a choice.

Every so often, society at large tells us that we may not go out to eat, may not visit the public library, may not do business with our bank or financial advisor or any government office, can not even watch the garbage trucks roll by performing their public service. What's more, we should not barge in on families we know and might otherwise choose to visit because it is likely that they are engaged with some alternative community which excludes us.

It is not an absolute isolation and it is not much different from so many other days of living alone except in this one respect: The aloneness is imposed by the culture around. From that imposition arises loneliness and a sense of diminishment.

Simply the reality of being alone is not a problem for those of us who live by ourselves. What is lost is the capacity to choose, the condition of self-determination as opposed to living a life determined for us. That's what we've been rebelling against since we were 2 years old and most of what we fear from growing old.

Being home alone is fine unless you lack the power to choose some other way.