Over the years, I have read a few books such as Parables of Kierkegaard and The Marriage of Heaven and Hell among others that have compelled me to think beyond my realm. By “realm” I am of course referring to my stubborn nature to do things my own way in the past and ask no one for help, nor allow others to take the credit for my successes nor the blame for my failures.
The quote that “no man is an island” was my happy place in fact, because I believed I longed to be that island; alone and self sufficient. A solitary life, unconcerned with most other lives around me. Unconcerned with the affairs of people that were not myself on the whole.
And then my young friend in junior high school was killed by his mother’s boyfriend one night.
He was murdered defending his mother against a man she had chosen to become part of her realm which included she and her three children and wound up costing not only her her own life but the lives of her children as well. And it cost me my friend.
I, the lonely boy who had only just begun public school a year prior to the incident, had lost one of the few people I had allowed in to my realm.
The situation only served to allow me to further distance myself from people and acceptance.
“Why allow people to get close when they may be taken from me at any time?”, I remember thinking as I lived on in mourning with the loss of my friend and making myself the martyr somehow.
Looking back now, I should have reached out to others. My parents, or teachers. I began to make poor choices and became very skilled at masking those choices from those who truly cared for me.
I had become the lonely island I longed for and it sucked eggs!
“No bird soars too high with his own wings.”
– William Blake
The lesson was learnt too well in time. I attempted to fly on my own and only got so far, but when I discovered that people genuinely cared about me and my well being, I discovered that I could fly even higher than I ever could alone.
And the island became a small village for me. Then a town. Then a city. And in cities there are people. Resources. Relaxation. Friends.
My realm is still expanding all of these years later, but I am confident that I have outgrown the island. I have discovered through both tragedy and triumph that human beings need one another. To grow. To learn. To live. I am thankful for this knowledge and for everyone who has helped carry me on this beautiful journey called life. I am elated. Where I soar, they soar. We are a wave of wondrous wings across the tapestry of day and the wave is gaining momentum. I am humbled to have people I can call friend in my life, and those I welcome to call me the same.