Kurt Bell

A life of courage, joy and independence.

The Great Indifference


Life on Earth is alone
No one will help us
These facts are disturbing


And religion
Shelter us
From the Great Indifference


When you can perceive
The slow dissolution
Of atoms
You may lose interest in
Building castles of sand


All landscapes
And circumstance
Appear tame
And familiar
After solitary passage
Through The Great Indifference


Exploring in the sea alone provides an opportunity to reach distant places without traveling very far. In the desert for example, I need to hike two hours alone beyond the last road and trail just to reach the near edge of the Volcano Wilderness, and then another hour before The Great Indifference can be perceived. In the sea, a short swim offshore to depths beyond reach or around the corner of some rocky point will bring you quickly to the place you seek. Take a breath and descend and you’ll find Indifference moving everywhere in the gloom, below your feet in the murky haze, up ahead where that sea mount looms like an underwater giant; in the surf crashing against rocks which tosses the body and sometimes draws blood, and in caves where the threatening embrace of mindless death and indifference snap the senses to a more primitive frequency and comprehension.


The Great Indifference is not a consequence of being alone. But of realizing we only have one another.


The Great Indifference is everywhere alone here in the desert. Just like it is at home and a work, only the muzzle’s off.


The Great Indifference is a perspective which yields an understanding of the true nature of the universe. It’s a place of clear thought, and relentless truth. The way there is never easy, never marked and can only be reached in solitude, and when the only chance of return is under the power of one’s own volition. What you find there may be worth the journey, even if you alone can understand or appreciate the prize.


I’m haunted by this past weekend’s hike like no hike before. I’m pretty sure I went further than I should. Deeper than I thought I could. My reward, the deepest draught of Indifference my mind can yet withstand. Such an awful, fearful, terrible truth.


Yesterday’s long desert sojourn was a new experience of Indifference. A recognition that the cold shoulder of nature is made of stone.

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