"There are days when solitude is a heady wine that intoxicates you with freedom, others when it is a bitter tonic, and still others when it is a poison that makes you beat your head against the wall." ~Colette
Today will be a day of solitude. Minor little errands mixed in between, but for the most part - a day to do as I please.
The quote above is a perfect description of finding time to be alone. Some days I cannot wait to just curl up with a good book and have no one around, or walk through a festival and gaze at whatever strikes my fancy, or even take a journey. But I have to be in the right state of mind to truly enjoy it.
Other times, it brings on such a deep, dark sadness. For whatever reason, solitude is both my best friend and my worst enemy.
My mind is something of a trickster. I am able to tune out the world when I am surrounded by friends and the common noises of familiarity. But when I am alone, truly focused in a way that I am rarely able to do around people I know, I go to the deepest depths of my psyche. I guess I am what you would call a deep thinker, and it blows my mind how clear I can become.
I think back to my time at the monastery. All of the silence, and the scheduled time with God. Or the numerous business trips I have taken, where I spent the night in hotels/b&bs, etc. and found myself just pondering. Or what about traveling to the middle east, alone.. and all of the thoughts spilling through my mind.
Or now. The morning in the sun room with my coffee and laptop. The chirping of the birds, the blazing rays of the sun - all of it puts me in a certain "meditative" state and as I write this, it is literally just a stream of consciousness. I don't plan out what I will say. I look at the blank screen and just go. Go with my thoughts -nothing more, nothing less.
One of my favorite books is Walden by Thoreau. What he did - by going out into the world to live alone, with his thoughts and the essentials, is amazing. His "stream of consciousness" is very similar to my thought process as I just sit and ponder the great issues of the world, or the lesser condition of the common man. That's how you end up with all of these random blog posts.
Will you have a few moments of solitude today? If so, how will you spend it?
"I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived." ~Henry David Thoreau, 1854