Rules For Life – Isolation is Illusion
by Ken La Salle
This month, I’d like you to take a moment, stop whatever you’re doing, and take in the world around you. Just listen to the world within earshot and look around. Smell the air, or whatever aroma is nearby. Employ all of your senses.
What do you get from that?
Here’s what I get, sitting in my writing room in Anaheim, California. I can hear the freeway only a short distance away filled with cars whizzing by, along with birds outside and planes and more cars. I can see the house I am in, built so long ago, along with my furniture, my computer, and the programs running on my computer. I can smell a bit of car exhaust mixed with grass freshly mown by our landscapers. Having just eaten breakfast, I can taste just a hint of the eggs benedict I had. And I can feel the keys of the keyboard under my fingers, which was created in the early 1870’s by Christopher Latham Sholes.
There’s a very good reason for mentioning Mr. Sholes, because everything around you – everything you can feel, hear, see, smell, taste – Everything – stands in fierce contradiction against Rudyard Kipling’s famous quote about each of us being an island. Everything around you is a reminder that we are not alone in this world. We are not isolated. We are all directly, intensely, and undeniably connected to each other.
We only think we’re isolated. We sit in our chairs feeling all alone while the entire world goes by us and over us and through us. Consider my eggs benedict, for instance. The eggs were raised in one part of the country and shipped to another. The grain for the English muffin was grown in one country and probably processed, cooked, and packaged somewhere else entirely. The hollandaise sauce may have been prepared here, and very well I might add, but that came from all over as well. And each ingredient passed through the hands (sometimes metaphorical and sometimes literal) of many others.
Then, consider the animals who either gave of themselves or just passed along. Bees pollinated the lemon bush. As we are killing off the bees, so too are we eliminating lemons. No more bees, no more lemons. Chickens raised in filthy conditions – as most are these days, to be honest – put poison in the eggs and in the land and in you and in me.
The same goes for the cars outside.
The same goes for the furniture in my room, as well as my home itself.
Everything around you is an integral part of your world, of your universe. Nothing is isolated.
And so, too, it is with this keyboard and most keyboards in use today. Christopher Sholes influenced the way millions of people lived their lives. He continues to have a profound influence with something as simple as three or four rows of keys. Sholes defined the way I work.
Do you really think he had any idea he would do that? Do you really think he said, “I’m going to change the way a novelist works in 2014!”
Rudyard Kipling said, “We’re all islands shouting lies to each other across seas of misunderstanding.”
Oh, we’re shouting. We can’t help but shout.
We are shouting across the sea of eternity and the misunderstanding comes from our false perception that we are islands. For, you see, we are all integral parts of each other’s lives and thoughts – of each other.
We are not islands.
We are one.
Isolation, as it turns out, is an illusion. If you live your life believing your are isolated, you are living a lie and your words, as you shout across that great sea of eternity, can only be misunderstood because you think of yourself of an island.
About the Author
Author and Playwright, Ken La Salle grew up in Santa Ana, California and has remained in the surrounding area his entire life. He was raised with strong, blue-collar roots, which have given him a progressive and environmentalist view. As a result, you’ll find many of his stories touching those areas both geographically and philosophically. His plays have been seen in theaters across the country and you can find a growing number of books available online. Find out more about Ken on his website at www.kenlasalle.com. Ken La Salle is represented by Loiacono Literary Agency , LLC.