Reader comment on William Deresiewicz's passage ...
On May 14, 2016 david doane wrote:|
I think there is a lot of truth in Pascal's statement that "All men's miseries derive from not being able to sit in a quiet room alone." Alone is a basic condition of being human. We can run from it, but ultimately we are each alone, even while we are in community. I can be alone in solitude, which I think is important because it's time with myself to be quiet, reflect, regroup, and get to know me better. As the author said, solitude enables us to secure the integrity of the self as well as to explore it. I take at least an hour and a half alone almost every morning to exercise, meditate, maybe read or write a little, and I love that time -- it's nourishing for me. I can also enjoy community where relationship, different perspectives, agreement and disagreement are available. I have a need for both solitude and community, though my need for community seems less than my need for solitude. Solitude-community is one of those dialectics we live in the tension of. After enough solitude I gravitate toward community, and after a dose of community I move back to solitude. Solitude and community stimulate one another and I grow in the back and forth.
On May 21, 2016 Amy wrote: