“Togethering”

Together ” is the prompt from Daily Post today (9/17/16)

When I got into a seat on the bus and looked out the window I didn’t see my mom or dad anywhere. Not a familiar face. Nothing. The sounds of thirty or so other people, some babies, some in pairs or groups, and at least one playing a radio out loud, all pressed in on me. For the first time in my life, I was alone.

I was on my way. Leaving the city and headed for another state. Not just any state, but seven states away – more than two thirds of the America-shape on the maps. I was going because I had to. This was the first time I had followed orders when the call came in. My parents supported me, both morally and financially. My girlfriend supported me, reluctantly. My brother and sister cried because they weren’t sure if I’d make it back home. I planned to, but then, doesn’t everybody?

The bus skipped and strolled through the city until it reached the highway, then it dragged itself meanly on the black asphalt until the only lights were those of other vehicles. All the while a magnet in my belly was attracting me back home. I was defying the magnetism.

Buildings and people were gone, replaced by silhouettes and pin-pricks of light, and by the ever-murmur of my fellow passengers. They filled my nostrils too – they and the ghosts of passengers from before-times, trapped in the cushioned seats, or sloshing around in the chemical toilet at the rear of the big grey aluminum dog.

It was on that bus, in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by strangers, when I realized the difference between being around people and being together. A silent clock started ticking. It ticked in my spirit until 3-months later, when a very similar bus ride took me back home.

Ahhh, there they were. Right where I’d left them. Mom and dad and brother and sister and I, together again. By that night I was together with my girlfriend again, and the next day together with my good friends. I was back in my land, amongst my tribe, with whom I synchronized on levels seen and unseen.

The meaning of TOGETHER doesn’t arrive, until you leave. To be together is to purposefully gravitate towards one another or to a place commonly (for better or worse). Two strangers on a bus aren’t together unless their destination is the same, and even then, they’ll probably never know they are “togethering”.

When I left home and went away from my others, I was doing the opposite of togethering. Together, verbalized, means, TO GATHER, which is to say, to deliberately join in a common place. Like going to Church – those are people coming together. Prisoners to the yard in midday are going together.

When I left on that bus I was SEPARATING – I was no longer together, I was “departing” – that is, disconnecting myself from my parts. When I arrived in my new land, I was, by choice, not together with anyone. I was aloning, on purpose. Just as purposely, I togethered with my loved ones again once my work was done.

If you love someone, let them depart. If they re-part with you, if they choose to together with you, you are a lucky human being.

Cheers

Jim

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