Expecting the visitor that never comes

(There too, as everywhere, I sometimes expected the Visitor who never comes. The Vishnu Purana says, ‘The house-holder is to remain at eventide in his courtyard as long as it takes to milk a cow, or longer if he pleases, to await the arrival of a guest.’ I often performed this duty of hospitality, waited long enough to milk a whole herd of cows, but did not see the man approaching from the town.

-Thoreau’s Walden)

We have burst upon Thoreau’s solitude when no visitor arrives in the eventide from all those towns in the distant haze as they sit in their prime , beyond fields.

All the while, milking of cow takes place. The cows are a solitude to themselves before their milk flows to morning coffee .Their feet shuffle in slush, their eyes vacant. Only a tiny moon hangs above their tin roof .

Solitude is not away from body’s music, more in the windy creak of dead wood as strange words spring in a white space from the vast wild wastes of our nights. We sit alone, away from milking cows linking their remote existence to solitude.

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