In solitude, we don’t escape people, we escape machines

I went on a kayak trip to the West Coast of Canada recently. It was beautiful beyond one’s imagination. I kayaked from Okeover Inlet into Desolation Sound, British Columbia. The sense of solitude and togetherness with humanity there has remained with me since.

I had many adventures on this trip. I saw a Minke whale blow thrice before she dived and disappeared. I was blocked by an aggressive sea lion mother who didn’t want me to approach her pups. I thought they were whales, only to find a family of sea lions frolicking in the calm, cool waters of Desolation Sound.

Indeed, more than anything, what I found there was solitude. Now, you may think, that Alex, he hides from the world, he is a hermit who hides in plain sight. Of course he would be happy away from the multitude in Desolation Sound. You would be wrong.

In fact, what I felt most strongly away from all except those closest to me, who were with me, was a sense of deep connection to humankind through nature. Fundamentally, we are biological and spiritual beings who come from and return to nature. Being alone wasn’t luxurious and delicious because of being away from people.

Rather, it was the opposite!

Being alone took me away from machines, representations, the lurid fantasy that is digital life. Away from that cacophony, I felt close to nature — my nature, our shared nature. The nature that we share with all other animals and the water and the land. In that communion with nature, I felt more human and closer to other humans than I have in a long time.

Beware of the fantasy world of unreality. Welcome the real world of nature, with its winds and seas and forests. It is there that we find who we really are. And what really matters.

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