However I feel and wherever I am, I try to find solitude. It’s a quiet that renews me because I can be myself. Solitude encourages me not only to reflect, but to jettison the ill-feelings of comparisons and expectations. The Rolling Stones, rock classic, Satisfaction, is so very telling:
“…When I’m watchin’ my TV and a man comes on and tells me
How white my shirts can be
But, he can’t be a man ’cause he doesn’t smoke
The same cigarettes as me…”
I’m not equating isolation with solitude, as the former suggests being devoid of sensory inputs. No, this is about a mindfulness that keeps at bay the disquiet of our modern life. Turn off the radio, the TV, the podcast, et al. Though it may be easier–if all too obvious–to find solitude when completely alone, that is unnecessary. Solitude can manifest itself anywhere. Don’t you find solitude at a social event [even at work] when you can momentarily remove yourself to a space that doesn’t invade your thinking and feeling? Step away, even for a moment, to find some quiet, some calm, some level of respite.
We’ve yielded to wanting impressions that don’t add genuine value to our sense of self: number of likes, tweets, comments, “friends”, postings and so forth. Allow yourself to be your own best company.
*This was the BBC radio introduction that was used during the Second World War. Personally, I tie this to a sentiment that I need to go back…