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OrdinaryTimes 1.02-Alonely

My agent classified me as a Single Acoustic Artist, which meant that I didn’t belong to a band. My current report card, if my second grade teacher was still around to fill it out, would probably say that I don’t play well with others, or, more generously, that I don’t often play with others. I spend most of my OrdinaryTime alone.

I don’t remember a single class in school in the fine art of aloneliness. Not loneliness, since I suppose everyone gets on-the-job training in that, one way or another, but aloneliness, which I might define as the ability to utilize empty time. Writers, musicians, consultants, even arm-candy spouses become expert in this curious craft. They might even appear to be the life of every party you see them attend, but nobody sees the other 99% of their time—their alonely time of which they are masters.

All great art starts with aloneliness, a blank slate, an empty page, an unscheduled day stretching out before. A book that lost its charm. A long afternoon waiting for a repair man to arrive. An empty vessel determined to stay empty, save one determined will.

Distractions are the natural enemy of aloneliness, plans its eternal foil. At first, alone time seems destined to submit to the gravitational pull of loneliness, that empty vessel lacking will. Later, a lucky spark might ignite the spirit, then anything can happen. Anything.

The Muse insists that I need balance between alone and communion, that I get stuck when I’m too much the hermit. She’s right, of course. I find a seductive allure in my aloneliness, a hermit’s delight, a busker’s reward even when nobody drops coins into my open guitar case; even when nobody but me can hear my tunes above the deafening traffic. I perform for nobody, mostly, perfecting inaudible melodies. I’m structuring, balancing, manifesting an implicate rhythm. Maybe a sharable song results, perhaps a book or a brand new never before imagined poem; perhaps a single new word.

People ask me what I do and I’m stumped. “Who are you with? You certainly must have a job.”

”I came all by myself,” I reply. I mostly work all by myself, too. Some of what I produce escapes the aloneliness, though I suspect that most never will. I tell myself that I’m working on a book, though I can’t for the life of me imagine who I’m writing it for. The Muse says the content might be unspeakable. Aloneliness might provide the perfect context for wrestling with such deep paradox.

©2013 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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