68: Someone – Falling

I only ever wanted to bear witness, for one can only ever bear witness for oneself and say, this is what happened to me; this is what I saw; this is how I felt. And others may come to that bearing witness and recognise features in it, and they may say, that’s how it is; that’s how it is for me, also; so I am not alone. This utter and necessary isolation is common to all, and some may come to be aware of it, and come to bear witness and come to attend to others who also bear witness. So here we are, not sharing an experience, but knowing that others have the same experience. We cannot have an experience of having the experience that others have, for that to happen we would have to be them, for we can only ever have our own experiences.

Thus, a profound loneliness confines each of us in our own isolated prison, bound fast by not be­ing able to have the experiences of others. Yet we hear them speak their evidence and declare its truth, and what we can understand of its content does not contradict our own evidence. This is the closeness we may have, and perhaps that is sufficient. At least we may be kind, for anyone may be desperate and may be saved by compassion. At least once, if only ever once, we must hope to catch someone who is falling and who does not know how to stop. All we have to do is say I will be with you. I have seen enough to know how to do that.

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