Yesterday I was reading the beautiful Solitary Reaper to my students. When we talked about it, we talked about music beyond the barriers of language, the lasting pleasure springing from a thing that brings happiness to soul ..then we translated solitary as alone and speculated that the song was melancholy because she was probably lonely. Suddenly, I had a thought…was she in bliss in her solitude , that she produced such brilliant music, “as if it could have no end”?
Yes, Solitude… I crave it ,I pursue it,I relish it, I thrive on it!
Solitude is NOT LONELINESS to me. When we are lonely , we feel a sense of isolation, that something is missing…our heart craves something..an awaited call from a friend to talk to, a hug from loving companion, a missing word of appreciation.. Loneliness gnaws at the heart, chipping away bits of our self away, depleting us.
Solitude on the other hand to me, is a conscious choice , where I step away from the chaos,a time set aside to provide some wonderful and sufficient company…something that I have recently learnt to bask in completely and embrace.
No,It is not just a bit of “me time” where you are busy doing few more things you have been wanting to do but not find to..like catching a movie or meeting friends.
Solitude is a truly special peacefulness stemming from a state of inner richness. It is a silent quiet time, that is wondrously satisfying It replenishes us.
Leaving you with two quotes to enjoy in solitude..
“The reason that extended solitude seemed so hard to endure was not that we missed others but that we began to wonder if we ourselves were present, because for so long our existence depended upon assurances from them.” ~ Doris Grumbach, ‘Fifty Days of Solitude’
“Not everyone knows how to be alone with others, how to share solitude. We have to help each other to understand how to be in our solitude, so that we can relate to each other without grabbing on to each other. We can be interdependent but not dependent. Loneliness is rejected despondency. Solitude is shared interdependence.” ~ David Spangler