I visit many magnificent places, and always alone. I tell everyone it’s by choice. But this is a lie. My heart aches to share every experience with another. I’ve lived a lifetime trying to succeed at human connections. But each time, the bridge fails, and I’m left standing on the edge of yet one more deep canyon. This pattern is agonizing, and it confuses me, but yesterday I discovered its source. It seems Creation, during a final draft of their novel The Great Book of Time, determined throughout eternity there will be just a few characters capable of translating the murmurings of mountain, forest, community, field, and sky. Unrestricted perception is the true meaning of empathy, and when absolute it’s a ruthless and unwelcome gift. Yet it’s also an exceptional gift because it’s a feeling, and not something you can hold in your hands. Like all gifts, the more unique they are, the more they cost, so there’s just one other emotion with the wealth capable of acquiring this endowment: solitude, for only the currency derived from its depths has sufficient value to buy the rich voice of the sublime. And like a tree, it must grow to function correctly: the greater the loneliness, the greater the understanding of the cosmos. Receiving this insight was profound, yet exceedingly painful. But knowledge like this does not come from me, it never does, for I’m far too simple to express such things. This revelation comes from River, and Her wisdom flows from before reality was even conceived. She knows truth is only Truth when conveyed without mercy, and Her words never carry even the slightest ripple of deception.
Robert D. Gosselin