Sunday, December 28, 2014

When we enter solitude, we lose loneliness…

Christmas Solitude
Hampton Beach: 12/25/14
CC Jean Stimmell
Why are Americans terrified of being alone, a question I left hanging in my 12/7post.  The answer is, I think, because most of us equate being alone with being cast into a lonely abyss, cut off not only from human contact but the consumer stimulation we are addicted to.

My hero, Maria Popova, provides an answer, both profound and elusive, like a Zen koan by quoting from Wendell Berry’s new book, What Are People For?  Contrary to what we think, by entering into solitude, we lose loneliness…


True solitude is found in the wild places, where one is without human obligation. One’s inner voices become audible. One feels the attraction of one’s most intimate sources. In consequence, one responds more clearly to other lives. The more coherent one becomes within oneself as a creature, the more fully one enters into the communion of all creatures.
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