The Art of Solitude

One’s inner voices become audible [and] in consequence, one responds more clearly to other lives. – Wendell Berry

Psychologists can confirm that “fertile solitude” is the basic unit of a full and content life. It’s rejuvenating to slow things down, reflect inward, imagine, and create on our own terms. Solitude elicits original thought. It opens other corridors for our minds to wonder without interruption. It is clarity and emotion and simplicity on an undefinable, incommunicable plane.

If solitude is a natural state of being, it is one we must remember to revisit often. Loneliness is not defined by being alone. It is defined by feeling isolated and sad without friends or company. Yet sometimes being by ourselves is company enough, especially when the world feels too crowded already. Often the people we feel closest to are those that offer us the feeling of being by ourselves, because we have discovered a similar self in someone else.

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