As a single person for 26 years now, I have come to realize that the inner dialogue of a single person is different from that of a coupled person. As a member of a couple, my inner dialogue as I traveled daily from experience to experience was how I was going to share this experience with my partner. I couldn’t wait to share and my inner dialogue was deciding what to share, what not to share, how to share, and could I put a comedic slant on it, etc. Mind you, I did not realize that this inner dialogue existed until I no longer had a partner with whom to share my experiences at the end of the day. The present moment was always backed up with the anticipation of the relating of that moment.
So, many experiences, while coupled, had a three-stage life: 1. The experience itself, 2. The thought about the telling of the experience to ‘the other’, and, 3. The telling about the experience to ‘the other.’ So when one abruptly becomes uncoupled through divorce or death or tragedy, we are left with only the first stage of an experience—which is just the experience itself. This is clearly not a bad thing, but is absolutely a huge adjustment.
A similar situation might be people who must take pictures of each experience to prolong the experience rather than just live it in the moment. Without a picture, many people feel that an experience has not been validated and is somehow lessened in value.
And now that we have Facebook, no one ever needs to be uncoupled again. Everyone who chooses to can share every aspect of their lives, slanted in any way they choose, with everyone in the world if they choose. That’s how much some people are uncomfortable just living in the solitary present moment. [But Facebook sharing is a whole different topic of its own!]
So back to tetherless. Two days after this word came to my mind while driving on a road trip (I seriously doubt that I’d ever used it in my life) it was used in the book I was reading in a negative sense. A chapter ended: Tetherless. Weak. Those two words—Tetherless. Weak. Hmmm. And here I was…feeling so positive about feeling tetherless. So I had to think some more.
Even uncoupled we are still tethered to our homes. We leave them each morning, feeling sure that they will welcome us each evening, providing safety and shelter. No matter how far we travel we remain tethered by an existential cord back to our ‘place.’
I no longer have that cord. So as I drive down each road, I feel existentially tetherless. I’m uncoupled and without a home of my own. My car is my only ‘home.’ It’s quite a liberating feeling.
I especially feel it when I am traveling from one house to the next house. At those moments, I am literally without a roof over my head; I belong nowhere. I feel loosely connected to the earth and to the skies, but nothing pulls me forward or backward or right or left.
Tetherless. Not a bad thing. Not necessarily a good thing. Just a present moment thing.