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Parallel Lines

I've always been searching
For a Soul Mate.
One who could reach me
And prove I wasn't really alone.
I remember fantasies
Of myself as a stage actor
Or a musician.
Communing with an audience.
But now I feel differently.
I met a Musician.
With a mind as sharp as mine.
We discovered that the solitude
I find in my computers
And in all my various projects
Is very much like the solitude
He finds in the studio
And when he's up on stage.
All this time I've been confused
Between art, humanity, communion, and obsession.
I have indeed been lonely.
I have hated being alone.
I thought it was because
I lacked humanity
Or art
Or a Soul Mate.
Now I understand
Art is a solitary act.
Often an obsession.
Where a person is Called
To speak what he or she alone can speak.
There is no room for loneliness.
Nor for another person
In most cases.
To expect a companion
During the commission of art
Is like trying to stand a cone
Point on point on another cone.
I thought I'd failed
To be a human being.
Instead it seems
I've been failing at something
Legitimately impossible.
One cannot escape
One's own humanity.
After a focused solitary act.
One is
        and lonely.
After art
One needs to come home.
To commune
To recharge.
That doesn't require a Soul Mate
Just a trusted friend.
I guess, in a sense
People were getting pierced
As I tried to commune
While I answered my muse.
And my musician friend?
We are communing.
Like parallel lines.
He with his art.
And I with mine.
Trusted friends
We sip tea together
When we're not
In the throes of art.

7 March 2000

by Bill Cattey