"I need something to do with myself."

  So, she went online and started jabbering away to the world. When 'lo and behold what befell her? Someone who actually talked with her--at least it seemed that talking was the order of the day. What else could it have been--the clicking of the keyboard keys could be heard near and far, night and day, day and night--the little monitor light seldom dimmed and land-o-mercy--she thought she had found true happiness.

  After all, in her land of Nod (as in off you say)--nobody really had much to say most of the time. So, when someone actually typed responses to her queries and called on the phone and spoke actual words, she thought she had found true happiness.

  Now--the question begins to form in her mind--perhaps the internet business is quite something to pursue--perhaps online romance would replace the non-existent kind in her life. Or--so she thought.

  So, she diligently pursued what she thought was a budding romance--ahhhhhh--'tis the stuff of dreams you say--you must watch out what you wish for--you may find yourself one day smack dab in the middle of your so-called dream and you look around and wonder, "How the hell did I land here--this is what I left in the land of Nod (as in off you say)?"

  Well, you see, the old woman found that she didn't really find someone to "talk" with per se--instead, she found that she had opened to herself and was actually chatting with herself. What seemed to pass as "conversation" was in reality her writing what was in her heart, on her mind. She rarely paid attention to the fact that the responses in reality were non-responses - certainly not responsive to anything she was writing/saying.

  But that reality check came much, much later--sigh, sigh, sigh.

  The moral of the lesson appears to be - sit in the silence of your life - close your eyes and just be with yourself - silently. You'll find that your own best friend is within you. All you must do is listen. 

  It's not necessary to create upheaval and turmoil by removing yourself from your present circumstances. Just open the wonderfulness of your heart, listen and you will realize in time that what you wanted all along was within you to attain. It is not necessary to travel (although that can be oodles of fun). It's not necessary to dump your partner (that can become a mighty lesson in humility). It's important only to be with yourself and learn from the silence.

  So--the land of nod is no more--the woman lives in profound enlightenment--the only difference being that now she is alone--no one with whom to share the profound wonderfulness--that can be a mighty, mighty lesson in humility.

  But, then I suppose nobody ever even intimated that our lessons in life come without great cost.

  We learn, we love, we grown, we listen to the silence and behold the wonders of the universe.

  And, in reality, we are never truly alone are we?
For within us lies the most wondrous companion of all--ourselves.

  No longer does she refer to anything much as the land of nod--for she does not nod off--she listens, she hears, she cries, she laughs, she is whole and complete. As she always was.

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2000 Text by Stephanie Doty/Graphics by Tulevision/All rights reserved.