Solitude Quotes

We've searched our database for all the quotes and captions related to Solitude. Here they are! All 200 of them:

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Let me tell you this: if you meet a loner, no matter what they tell you, it's not because they enjoy solitude. It's because they have tried to blend into the world before, and people continue to disappoint them.
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Jodi Picoult (My Sister's Keeper)
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I care for myself. The more solitary, the more friendless, the more unsustained I am, the more I will respect myself.
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Charlotte BrontΓ« (Jane Eyre)
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Solitude is fine but you need someone to tell that solitude is fine.
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HonorΓ© de Balzac
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My alone feels so good, I'll only have you if you're sweeter than my solitude.
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Warsan Shire
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When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares.
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Henri J.M. Nouwen (Out of Solitude: Three Meditations on the Christian Life)
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It's enough for me to be sure that you and I exist at this moment.
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Gabriel GarcΓ­a MΓ‘rquez (One Hundred Years of Solitude)
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If you're lonely when you're alone, you're in bad company.
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Jean-Paul Sartre
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It is easy in the world to live after the world's opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude.
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Ralph Waldo Emerson (The Complete Prose Works Of Ralph Waldo Emerson)
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I went to collect the few personal belongings which...I held to be invaluable: my cat, my resolve to travel, and my solitude.
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Colette
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The more powerful and original a mind, the more it will incline towards the religion of solitude.
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Aldous Huxley
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A bore is someone who deprives you of solitude without providing you with company.
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Oscar Wilde
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Literature is the most agreeable way of ignoring life.
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Fernando Pessoa (The Book of Disquiet)
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My imagination functions much better when I don't have to speak to people.
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Patricia Highsmith
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Solitude gives birth to the original in us, to beauty unfamiliar and perilous - to poetry. But also, it gives birth to the opposite: to the perverse, the illicit, the absurd.
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Thomas Mann (Death in Venice and Other Tales)
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being alone never felt right. sometimes it felt good, but it never felt right.
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Charles Bukowski (Women)
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A man can be himself only so long as he is alone; and if he does not love solitude, he will not love freedom; for it is only when he is alone that he is really free.
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Arthur Schopenhauer (Essays and Aphorisms)
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I find it wholesome to be alone the greater part of the time. To be in company, even with the best, is soon wearisome and dissipating. I love to be alone. I never found the companion that was so companionable as solitude.
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Henry David Thoreau (Walden)
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One can acquire everything in solitude except character.
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Stendhal (Five Short Novels of Stendhal)
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Time was passing like a hand waving from a train I wanted to be on. I hope you never have to think about anything as much as I think about you.
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Jonathan Safran Foer
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Love consists of this: two solitudes that meet, protect and greet each other.
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Rainer Maria Rilke
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I had already found that it was not good to be alone, and so made companionship with what there was around me, sometimes with the universe and sometimes with my own insignificant self; but my books were always my friends, let fail all else.
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Joshua Slocum (Sailing Alone around the World)
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Orlando naturally loved solitary places, vast views, and to feel himself for ever and ever and ever alone.
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Virginia Woolf (Orlando)
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I've never been lonely. I've been in a room -- I've felt suicidal. I've been depressed. I've felt awful -- awful beyond all -- but I never felt that one other person could enter that room and cure what was bothering me...or that any number of people could enter that room. In other words, loneliness is something I've never been bothered with because I've always had this terrible itch for solitude. It's being at a party, or at a stadium full of people cheering for something, that I might feel loneliness. I'll quote Ibsen, "The strongest men are the most alone." I've never thought, "Well, some beautiful blonde will come in here and give me a fuck-job, rub my balls, and I'll feel good." No, that won't help. You know the typical crowd, "Wow, it's Friday night, what are you going to do? Just sit there?" Well, yeah. Because there's nothing out there. It's stupidity. Stupid people mingling with stupid people. Let them stupidify themselves. I've never been bothered with the need to rush out into the night. I hid in bars, because I didn't want to hide in factories. That's all. Sorry for all the millions, but I've never been lonely. I like myself. I'm the best form of entertainment I have. Let's drink more wine!
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Charles Bukowski
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There is a pleasure in the pathless woods, There is a rapture on the lonely shore, There is society, where none intrudes, By the deep sea, and music in its roar: I love not man the less, but Nature more
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Lord Byron
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Who hears music, feels his solitude Peopled at once.
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Robert Browning (The complete poetical works of Browning)
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I live in that solitude which is painful in youth, but delicious in the years of maturity.
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Albert Einstein
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Solitude sometimes is best society.
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John Milton (Paradise Lost)
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There is always something left to love.
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Gabriel GarcΓ­a MΓ‘rquez (One Hundred Years of Solitude)
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Whosoever is delighted in solitude, is either a wild beast or a god.
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Aristotle
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Make your ego porous. Will is of little importance, complaining is nothing, fame is nothing. Openness, patience, receptivity, solitude is everything.
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Rainer Maria Rilke
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I want to be with those who know secret things or else alone.
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Rainer Maria Rilke
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I hold this to be the highest task of a bond between two people: that each should stand guard over the solitude of the other.
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Rainer Maria Rilke (Letters to a Young Poet)
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In order to understand the world, one has to turn away from it on occasion." [The Minotaur]
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Albert Camus (The Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays)
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I have to be alone very often. I'd be quite happy if I spent from Saturday night until Monday morning alone in my apartment. That's how I refuel." (Audrey Hepburn: Many-Sided Charmer, LIFE Magazine, December 7, 1953)
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Audrey Hepburn
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How much better is silence; the coffee cup, the table. How much better to sit by myself like the solitary sea-bird that opens its wings on the stake. Let me sit here for ever with bare things, this coffee cup, this knife, this fork, things in themselves, myself being myself.
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Virginia Woolf (The Waves)
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Writing is utter solitude, the descent into the cold abyss of oneself.
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Franz Kafka
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The greatest thing in the world is to know how to belong to oneself.
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Michel de Montaigne (The Complete Essays)
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There is a wilderness we walk alone However well-companioned
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Stephen Vincent BenΓ©t (Western Star)
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I was a man who thrived on solitude; without it I was like another man without food or water. Each day without solitude weakened me. I took no pride in my solitude; but I was dependent on it. The darkness of the room was like sunlight to me.
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Charles Bukowski (Factotum)
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We live, in fact, in a world starved for solitude, silence, and private: and therefore starved for meditation and true friendship.
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C.S. Lewis (The Weight of Glory)
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The weight of the world is love. Under the burden of solitude, under the burden of dissatisfaction the weight,the weight we carry is love.
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Allen Ginsberg
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Solitude is independence. It had been my wish and with the years I had attained it. It was cold. Oh, cold enough! But it was also still, wonderfully still and vast like the cold stillness of space in which the stars revolve.
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Hermann Hesse (Steppenwolf)
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I would rather sit on a pumpkin, and have it all to myself, than be crowded on a velvet cushion.
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Henry David Thoreau
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Loneliness is the poverty of self; solitude is richness of self.
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May Sarton
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Reading is that fruitful miracle of a communication in the midst of solitude.
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Marcel Proust
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Solitude has soft, silky hands, but with strong fingers it grasps the heart and makes it ache with sorrow.
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Kahlil Gibran (The Broken Wings)
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I need to be alone. I need to ponder my shame and my despair in seclusion; I need the sunshine and the paving stones of the streets without companions, without conversation, face to face with myself, with only the music of my heart for company.
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Henry Miller (Tropic of Cancer (Tropic, #2))
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We must become so alone, so utterly alone, that we withdraw into our innermost self. It is a way of bitter suffering. But then our solitude is overcome, we are no longer alone, for we find that our innermost self is the spirit, that it is God, the indivisible. And suddenly we find ourselves in the midst of the world, yet undisturbed by its multiplicity, for our innermost soul we know ourselves to be one with all being.
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Hermann Hesse
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Sometimes I get so immersed in my own company, if I unexpectedly run into someone I know, it's a bit of a shock and takes me a while to adjust.
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Kazuo Ishiguro (Never Let Me Go)
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Closed in a room, my imagination becomes the universe, and the rest of the world is missing out.
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Criss Jami (Diotima, Battery, Electric Personality)
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If you meet a loner, no matter what they tell you, it’s not because they enjoy solitude. It’s because they have tried to blend into the world before, and people continue to disappoint them.
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Jodi Picoult (My Sister's Keeper)
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Cherish your solitude. Take trains by yourself to places you have never been. Sleep out alone under the stars. Learn how to drive a stick shift. Go so far away that you stop being afraid of not coming back. Say no when you don’t want to do something. Say yes if your instincts are strong, even if everyone around you disagrees. Decide whether you want to be liked or admired. Decide if fitting in is more important than finding out what you’re doing here. Believe in kissing.
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Eve Ensler
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Embrace your solitude and love it. Endure the pain it causes, and try to sing out with it. For those near to you are distant...
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Rainer Maria Rilke (Letters to a Young Poet)
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As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler; solitude will not be solitude, poverty will not be poverty, nor weakness weakness.
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Henry David Thoreau
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The necessary thing is after all but this; solitude, great inner solitude. Going into oneself for hours meeting no one - this one must be able to attain.
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Rainer Maria Rilke (Letters to a Young Poet)
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Therefore, dear Sir, love your solitude and try to sing out with the pain it causes you. For those who are near you are far away... and this shows that the space around you is beginning to grow vast.... be happy about your growth, in which of course you can't take anyone with you, and be gentle with those who stay behind; be confident and calm in front of them and don't torment them with your doubts and don't frighten them with your faith or joy, which they wouldn't be able to comprehend. Seek out some simple and true feeling of what you have in common with them, which doesn't necessarily have to alter when you yourself change again and again; when you see them, love life in a form that is not your own and be indulgent toward those who are growing old, who are afraid of the aloneness that you trust.... and don't expect any understanding; but believe in a love that is being stored up for you like an inheritance, and have faith that in this love there is a strength and a blessing so large that you can travel as far as you wish without having to step outside it.
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Rainer Maria Rilke (Letters to a Young Poet)
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He really had been through death, but he had returned because he could not bear the solitude.
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Gabriel GarcΓ­a MΓ‘rquez (One Hundred Years of Solitude)
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The point of marriage is not to create a quick commonality by tearing down all boundaries; on the contrary, a good marriage is one in which each partner appoints the other to be the guardian of his solitude, and thus they show each other the greatest possible trust. A merging of two people is an impossibility, and where it seems to exist, it is a hemming-in, a mutual consent that robs one party or both parties of their fullest freedom and development. But once the realization is accepted that even between the closest people infinite distances exist, a marvelous living side-by-side can grow up for them, if they succeed in loving the expanse between them, which gives them the possibility of always seeing each other as a whole and before an immense sky.
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Rainer Maria Rilke (Letters to a Young Poet)
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I need solitude for my writing; not 'like a hermit' - that wouldn't be enough - but like a dead man.
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Franz Kafka
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There is the solitude of suffering, when you go through darkness that is lonely, intense, and terrible. Words become powerless to express your pain; what others hear from your words is so distant and different from what you are actually suffering.
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John O'Donohue (Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom)
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And it came to me then. That we were wonderful traveling companions but in the end no more than lonely lumps of metal in their own separate orbits. From far off they look like beautiful shooting stars, but in reality they're nothing more than prisons, where each of us is locked up alone, going nowhere. When the orbits of these two satellites of ours happened to cross paths, we could be together. Maybe even open our hearts to each other. But that was only for the briefest moment. In the next instant we'd be in absolute solitude. Until we burned up and became nothing.
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Haruki Murakami (Sputnik Sweetheart)
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But your solitude will be a support and a home for you, even in the midst of very unfamiliar circumstances, and from it you will find all your paths.
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Rainer Maria Rilke (Letters to a Young Poet)
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Guard well your spare moments. They are like uncut diamonds. Discard them and their value will never be known. Improve them and they will become the brightest gems in a useful life.
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Ralph Waldo Emerson
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Reading well is one of the great pleasures that solitude can afford you.
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Harold Bloom
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The voice of the sea is seductive, never ceasing, whispering, clamoring, murmuring, inviting the soul to wander in abysses of solitude.
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Kate Chopin (The Awakening)
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Solitude matters, and for some people, it's the air they breathe
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Susan Cain
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Solitude was my only consolation - deep, dark, deathlike solitude.
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Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
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Before I die, I want to be somebody’s favorite hiding place, the place they can put everything they know they need to survive, every secret, every solitude, every nervous prayer, and be absolutely certain I will keep it safe. I will keep it safe.
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Andrea Gibson
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If a man cannot understand the beauty of life, it is probably because life never understood the beauty in him.
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Criss Jami (Killosophy)
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Then he made one last effort to search in his heart for the place where his affection had rotted away, and he could not find it.
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Gabriel GarcΓ­a MΓ‘rquez (One Hundred Years of Solitude)
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...time was not passing...it was turning in a circle...
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Gabriel GarcΓ­a MΓ‘rquez (One Hundred Years of Solitude)
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A poet is a nightingale who sits in darkness and sings to cheer its own solitude with sweet sounds.
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Percy Bysshe Shelley
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He dug so deeply into her sentiments that in search of interest he found love, because by trying to make her love him he ended up falling in love with her. Petra Cotes, for her part, loved him more and more as she felt his love increasing, and that was how in the ripeness of autumn she began to believe once more in the youthful superstition that poverty was the servitude of love. Both looked back then on the wild revelry, the gaudy wealth, and the unbridled fornication as an annoyance and they lamented that it had cost them so much of their lives to find the paradise of shared solitude. Madly in love after so many years of sterile complicity, they enjoyed the miracle of living each other as much at the table as in bed, and they grew to be so happy that even when they were two worn-out people they kept on blooming like little children and playing together like dogs.
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Gabriel GarcΓ­a MΓ‘rquez (One Hundred Years of Solitude)
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My solitude doesn’t depend on the presence or absence of people; on the contrary, I hate who steals my solitude without, in exchange, offering me true company.
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Friedrich Nietzsche
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People who do a job that claims to be creative have to be alone to recharge their batteries. You can’t live 24 hours a day in the spotlight and remain creative. For people like me, solitude is a victory.
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Karl Lagerfeld
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Winter solitude- in a world of one colour the sound of the wind.
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Matsuo Bashō
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A multitude of people and yet a solitude.
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Charles Dickens (A Tale of Two Cities)
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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.
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Colette (Oeuvres complètes en seize volumes)
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In order to be open to creativity, one must have the capacity for constructive use of solitude. One must overcome the fear of being alone.
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Rollo May
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The writer's curse is that even in solitude, no matter its duration, he never grows lonely or bored.
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Criss Jami (Killosophy)
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fall in love with your solitude
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Rupi Kaur (Milk and Honey)
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Ursula craved solitude but she hated loneliness, a conundrum that she couldn’t even begin to solve.
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Kate Atkinson (Life After Life (Todd Family, #1))
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Great men are like eagles, and build their nest on some lofty solitude
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Arthur Schopenhauer
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Solitude is the profoundest fact of the human condition. Man is the only being who knows he is alone.
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Octavio Paz
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He succeeded in being considered totally uninteresting. People left him alone. And that was all he wanted.
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Patrick SΓΌskind (Perfume: The Story of a Murderer)
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Our language has wisely sensed these two sides of man’s being alone. It has created the word β€œloneliness” to express the pain of being alone. And it has created the word β€œsolitude” to express the glory of being alone.
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Paul Tillich (The Eternal Now)
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Solitude is indeed dangerous for a working intelligence. We need to have around us people who think and speak. When we are alone for a long time we people the void with phantoms
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Guy de Maupassant (Le Horla et autres contes fantastiques (Classiques hachette))
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From that time on, the world was hers for the reading. She would never be lonely again, never miss the lack of intimate friends. Books became her friends and there was one for every mood. There was poetry for quiet companionship. There was adventure when she tired of quiet hours. There would be love stories when she came into adolescence and when she wanted to feel a closeness to someone she could read a biography. On that day when she first knew she could read, she made a vow to read one book a day as long as she lived.
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Betty Smith (A Tree Grows in Brooklyn)
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Then stirs the feeling infinite, so felt In solitude, where we are least alone.
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Lord Byron (Childe Harold's Pilgrimage)
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You cannot be lonely if you like the person you're alone with.
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Wayne W. Dyer
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I had three chairs in my house; one for solitude, two for friendship, three for society.
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Henry David Thoreau (Walden)
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That is why I write - to try to turn sadness into longing, solitude into remembrance.
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Paulo Coelho (By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept)
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Tears do not burn except in solitude.
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Emil M. Cioran (On the Heights of Despair)
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Lost in the solitude of his immense power, he began to lose direction.
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Gabriel GarcΓ­a MΓ‘rquez (One Hundred Years of Solitude)
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They were so close to each other that they preferred death to separation.
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Gabriel GarcΓ­a MΓ‘rquez (One Hundred Years of Solitude)
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But many of us seek community solely to escape the fear of being alone. Knowing how to be solitary is central to the art of loving. When we can be alone, we can be with others without using them as a means of escape.
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bell hooks (All About Love: New Visions)
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Talent develops in solitude, character develops in the stream of life.
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Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
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I can be by myself because I'm never lonely; I'm simply alone, living in my heavily populated solitude, a harum-scarum of infinity and eternity, and Infinity and Eternity seem to take a liking to the likes of me.
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Bohumil Hrabal (Too Loud a Solitude)
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I felt myself in a solitude so frightful that I contemplated suicide. What held me back was the idea that no one, absolutely no one, would be moved by my death, that I would be even more alone in death than in life.
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Jean-Paul Sartre (La nΓ‘usea)
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Many people suffer from the fear of finding oneself alone, and so they don't find themselves at all.
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Rollo May (Man's Search for Himself)
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I have an immense appetite for solitude, like an infant for sleep, and if I don't get enough for this year, I shall cry all the next.
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Henry David Thoreau
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I suffer from life and from other people. I can’t look at reality face to face. Even the sun discourages and depresses me. Only at night and all alone, withdrawn, forgotten and lost, with no connection to anything real or useful β€” only then do I find myself and feel comforted.
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Fernando Pessoa (The Book of Disquiet)
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When you want to teach children to think, you begin by treating them seriously when they are little, giving them responsibilities, talking to them candidly, providing privacy and solitude for them, and making them readers and thinkers of significant thoughts from the beginning. That’s if you want to teach them to think.
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Bertrand Russell
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In the world of the dreamer there was solitude: all the exaltations and joys came in the moment of preparation for living. They took place in solitude. But with action came anxiety, and the sense of insuperable effort made to match the dream, and with it came weariness, discouragement, and the flight into solitude again. And then in solitude, in the opium den of remembrance, the possibility of pleasure again.
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AnaΓ―s Nin
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I never said, 'I want to be alone.' I only said 'I want to be let alone!' There is all the difference.
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Greta Garbo (Garbo)
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Solitude is painful when one is young, but delightful when one is more mature.
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Albert Einstein
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Solitude produces originality, bold and astonishing beauty, poetry. But solitude also produces perverseness, the disproportianate, the absurd and the forbidden.
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Thomas Mann (Death in Venice and Other Tales)
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The happiest of all lives is a busy solitude.
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Voltaire
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I love the solitude of reading. I love the deep dive into someone else's story, the delicious ache of a last page.
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Naomi Shihab Nye
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Some things are too terrible to grasp at once. Other things - naked, sputtering, indelible in their horror - are too terrible to really grasp ever at all. It is only later, in solitude, in memory that the realization dawns: when the ashes are cold; when the mourners have departed; when one looks around and finds oneself - quite to one's surprise - in an entirely different world.
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Donna Tartt (The Secret History)
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I hate who steals my solitude, without really offer me in exchange company.
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Friedrich Nietzsche
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If you are alone you belong entirely to yourself. If you are accompanied by even one companion you belong only half to yourself or even less in proportion to the thoughtlessness of his conduct and if you have more than one companion you will fall more deeply into the same plight.
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Leonardo da Vinci
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For those who know the value of and exquisite taste of solitary freedom (for one is only free when alone), the act of leaving is the bravest and most beautiful of all.
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Isabelle Eberhardt (The Nomad: Diaries of Isabelle Eberhardt)
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To be left alone is the most precious thing one can ask of the modern world.
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Anthony Burgess (Homage To Qwert Yuiop: Essays)
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Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano BuendΓ­a was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice...
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Gabriel GarcΓ­a MΓ‘rquez (One Hundred Years of Solitude)
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Some people, weak people, fear solitude. What they fail to understand is that you don't need anyone, you can take care of yourself.
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Gail Honeyman (Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine)
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At the bottom of her heart, however, she was waiting for something to happen. Like shipwrecked sailors, she turned despairing eyes upon the solitude of her life, seeking afar off some white sail in the mists of the horizon. She did not know what this chance would be, what wind would bring it her, towards what shore it would drive her, if it would be a shallop or a three-decker, laden with anguish or full of bliss to the portholes. But each morning, as she awoke, she hoped it would come that day; she listened to every sound, sprang up with a start, wondered that it did not come; then at sunset, always more saddened, she longed for the morrow.
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Gustave Flaubert (Madame Bovary)
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and both of them remained floating in an empty universe where the only everyday & eternal reality was love...
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Gabriel GarcΓ­a MΓ‘rquez (One Hundred Years of Solitude)
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The psyches and souls of women also have their own cycles and seasons of doing and solitude, running and staying, being involved and being removed, questing and resting, creating and incubating, being of the world and returning to the soul-place.
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Clarissa Pinkola EstΓ©s (Women Who Run With the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype)
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I’ll read my books and I’ll drink coffee and I’ll listen to music, and I’ll bolt the door." ( A Boy in France : Saturday Evening Post CCXVII, March 31, 1945)
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J.D. Salinger
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A lonely day is God's way of saying that he wants to spend some quality time with you.
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Criss Jami (Killosophy)
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To make the right choices in life, you have to get in touch with your soul. To do this, you need to experience solitude, which most people are afraid of, because in the silence you hear the truth and know the solutions.
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Deepak Chopra
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Solitude is the soil in which genius is planted, creativity grows, and legends bloom; faith in oneself is the rain that cultivates a hero to endure the storm, and bare the genesis of a new world, a new forest.
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Mike Norton (White Mountain)
β€œ
[Saint Anthony] said, in his solitude, he sometimes encountered devils who looked like angels, and other times he found angels who looked like devils. When asked how he could tell the difference, the saint said that you can only tell which is which by the way you feel after the creature has left your company.
”
”
Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love)
β€œ
For it is in your power to retire into yourself whenever you choose.
”
”
Marcus Aurelius (Meditations)
β€œ
Life will break you. Nobody can protect you from that, and living alone won’t either, for solitude will also break you with its yearning. You have to love. You have to feel. It is the reason you are here on earth. You are here to risk your heart. You are here to be swallowed up.
”
”
Louise Erdrich (The Painted Drum)
β€œ
Certainly work is not always required of a man. There is such a thing as a sacred idleness, the cultivation of which is now fearfully neglected.
”
”
George MacDonald (Wilfrid Cumbermede)
β€œ
It is always what I have already said: always the wish that you may find patience enough in yourself to endure, and simplicity enough to believe; that you may acquire more and more confidence in that which is difficult, and in your solitude among others. And for the rest, let life happen to you. Believe me: life is right, in any case.
”
”
Rainer Maria Rilke
β€œ
For now she need not think of anybody. She could be herself, by herself. And that was what now she often felt the need of - to think; well not even to think. To be silent; to be alone. All the being and the doing, expansive, glittering, vocal, evaporated; and one shrunk, with a sense of solemnity, to being oneself, a wedge-shaped core of darkness, something invisible to others... and this self having shed its attachments was free for the strangest adventures.
”
”
Virginia Woolf (To the Lighthouse)
β€œ
I ask the impossible: love me forever. Love me when all desire is gone. Love me with the single mindedness of a monk. When the world in its entirety, and all that you hold sacred advise you against it: love me still more. When rage fills you and has no name: love me. When each step from your door to our job tires you-- love me; and from job to home again, love me, love me. Love me when you're bored-- when every woman you see is more beautiful than the last, or more pathetic, love me as you always have: not as admirer or judge, but with the compassion you save for yourself in your solitude. Love me as you relish your loneliness, the anticipation of your death, mysteries of the flesh, as it tears and mends. Love me as your most treasured childhood memory-- and if there is none to recall-- imagine one, place me there with you. Love me withered as you loved me new. Love me as if I were forever-- and I, will make the impossible a simple act, by loving you, loving you as I do
”
”
Ana Castillo (I Ask the Impossible)
β€œ
Betrayed and wronged in everything, I’ll flee this bitter world where vice is king, And seek some spot unpeopled and apart Where I’ll be free to have an honest heart.
”
”
Molière (The Misanthrope)
β€œ
Find meaning. Distinguish melancholy from sadness. Go out for a walk. It doesn’t have to be a romantic walk in the park, spring at its most spectacular moment, flowers and smells and outstanding poetical imagery smoothly transferring you into another world. It doesn’t have to be a walk during which you’ll have multiple life epiphanies and discover meanings no other brain ever managed to encounter. Do not be afraid of spending quality time by yourself. Find meaning or don’t find meaning but 'steal' some time and give it freely and exclusively to your own self. Opt for privacy and solitude. That doesn’t make you antisocial or cause you to reject the rest of the world. But you need to breathe. And you need to be.
”
”
Albert Camus (Notebooks 1951-1959)
β€œ
What does he say?' he asked. 'He’s very sad,’ Úrsula answered, β€˜because he thinks that you’re going to die.' 'Tell him,' the colonel said, smiling, 'that a person doesn’t die when he should but when he can.
”
”
Gabriel GarcΓ­a MΓ‘rquez (One Hundred Years of Solitude)
β€œ
There is no good word for the opposite of lonesome. One might be tempted to suggest togetherness or contentment , but the fact that these two other words bear definitions unrelated to each other perfectly displays why lonesome cannot be properly mirrored. It does not mean solitude, nor alone, nor lonely, although lonesome can contain all of those words in itself. Lonesome means a state of being apart. Of being other. Alone-some.
”
”
Maggie Stiefvater (Blue Lily, Lily Blue (The Raven Cycle, #3))
β€œ
There are times when solitude is better than society, and silence is wiser than speech. We should be better Christians if we were more alone, waiting upon God, and gathering through meditation on His Word spiritual strength for labour in his service. We ought to muse upon the things of God, because we thus get the real nutriment out of them. . . . Why is it that some Christians, although they hear many sermons, make but slow advances in the divine life? Because they neglect their closets, and do not thoughtfully meditate on God's Word. They love the wheat, but they do not grind it; they would have the corn, but they will not go forth into the fields to gather it; the fruit hangs upon the tree, but they will not pluck it; the water flows at their feet, but they will not stoop to drink it. From such folly deliver us, O Lord. . . .
”
”
Charles Haddon Spurgeon
β€œ
We live together, we act on, and react to, one another; but always and in all circumstances we are by ourselves. The martyrs go hand in hand into the arena; they are crucified alone. Embraced, the lovers desperately try to fuse their insulated ecstasies into a single self-transcendence; in vain. By its very nature every embodied spirit is doomed to suffer and enjoy in solitude. Sensations, feelings, insights, fanciesβ€”all these are private and, except through symbols and at second hand, incommunicable. We can pool information about experiences, but never the experiences themselves. From family to nation, every human group is a society of island universes.
”
”
Aldous Huxley (The Doors of Perception)
β€œ
Loneliness is black coffee and late-night television; solitude is herb tea and soft music. Solitude, quality solitude, is an assertion of self-worth, because only in the stillness can we hear the truth of our own unique voices.
”
”
Pearl Cleage (Deals with the Devil, and Other Reasons to Riot)
β€œ
Wherever they might be they always remember that the past was a lie, that memory has no return, that every spring gone by could never be recovered, and that the wildest and most tenacious love was an ephemeral truth in the end.
”
”
Gabriel GarcΓ­a MΓ‘rquez (One Hundred Years of Solitude)
β€œ
I prefer to be left alone with my books.
”
”
Alison Weir (Innocent Traitor)
β€œ
Cease, cows, life is short.
”
”
Gabriel GarcΓ­a MΓ‘rquez (One Hundred Years of Solitude)
β€œ
The soul that sees beauty may sometimes walk alone.
”
”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
β€œ
If a man is to live, he must be all alive, body, soul, mind, heart, spirit.
”
”
Thomas Merton (Thoughts in Solitude)
β€œ
My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road though I may know nothing about it. Therefore will I trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.
”
”
Thomas Merton (Thoughts in Solitude)
β€œ
In yourself right now is all the place you've got.
”
”
Flannery O'Connor (Wise Blood)
β€œ
Spirituality is not to be learned by flight from the world, or by running away from things, or by turning solitary and going apart from the world. Rather, we must learn an inner solitude wherever or with whomsoever we may be. We must learn to penetrate things and find God there.
”
”
Meister Eckhart
β€œ
I am now quite cured of seeking pleasure in society, be it country or town. A sensible man ought to find sufficient company in himself.
”
”
Emily BrontΓ« (Wuthering Heights)
β€œ
I hate solitude, but I'm afraid of intimacy. The substance of my life is a private conversation with myself which to turn into a dialogue would be equivalent to self-destruction. The company which I need is the company which a pub or a cafe will provide. I have never wanted a communion of souls. It's already hard enough to tell the truth to oneself.
”
”
Iris Murdoch (Under the Net)
β€œ
Karou wished she could be the kind of girl who was complete unto herself, comfortable in solitude, serene. But she wasn't. She was lonely, and she feared the missingness within her as if it might expand and... cancel her. She craved a presence beside her, solid. Fingertips light at the nape of her neck and a voice meeting hers in the dark. Someone who would wait with an umbrella to walk her home in the rain, and smile like sunshine when he saw her coming. Who would dance with her on her balcony, keep his promises and know her secrets, and make a tiny world wherever he was, with just her and his arms and his whisper and her trust.
”
”
Laini Taylor (Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #1))
β€œ
Love is an attempt to penetrate another being, but it can only be realized if the surrender is mutual.
”
”
Octavio Paz (The Labyrinth of Solitude and Other Writings)
β€œ
I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud I wandered lonely as a cloud That floats on high o'er vales and hills, When all at once I saw a crowd, A host, of golden daffodils; Beside the lake, beneath the trees, Fluttering and dancing in the breeze. Continuous as the stars that shine And twinkle on the milky way, They stretched in never-ending line Along the margin of a bay: Ten thousand saw I at a glance, Tossing their heads in sprightly dance. The waves beside them danced; but they Out-did the sparkling waves in glee: A poet could not but be gay, In such a jocund company: I gazed--and gazed--but little thought What wealth the show to me had brought: For oft, when on my couch I lie In vacant or in pensive mood, They flash upon that inward eye Which is the bliss of solitude; And then my heart with pleasure fills, And dances with the daffodils.
”
”
William Wordsworth (I Wander'd Lonely as a Cloud)
β€œ
I am the Cat who walks by himself, and all places are alike to me.
”
”
Rudyard Kipling (The Cat That Walked By Himself)
β€œ
In spite of language, in spite of intelligence and intuition and sympathy, one can never really communicate anything to anybody. The essential substance of every thought and feeling remains incommunicable, locked up in the impenetrable strong-room of the individual soul and body. Our life is a sentence of perpetual solitary confinement.
”
”
Aldous Huxley
β€œ
I love the dark hours of my being. My mind deepens into them. There I can find, as in old letters, the days of my life, already lived, and held like a legend, and understood.
”
”
Rainer Maria Rilke (Rilke's Book of Hours: Love Poems to God)
β€œ
beware the average man the average woman beware their love, their love is average seeks average but there is genius in their hatred there is enough genius in their hatred to kill you to kill anybody not wanting solitude not understanding solitude they will attempt to destroy anything that differs from their own not being able to create art they will not understand art they will consider their failure as creators only as a failure of the world
”
”
Charles Bukowski
β€œ
Intrigued by that enigma, he dug so deeply into her sentiments that in search of interest he found love, because by trying to make her love him he ended up falling in love with her.
”
”
Gabriel GarcΓ­a MΓ‘rquez (One Hundred Years of Solitude)
β€œ
Be always drunken. Nothing else matters: that is the only question. If you would not feel the horrible burden of Time weighing on your shoulders and crushing you to the earth, be drunken continually. Drunken with what? With wine, with poetry, or with virtue, as you will. But be drunken. And if sometimes, on the stairs of a palace, or on the green side of a ditch, or in the dreary solitude of your own room, you should awaken and the drunkenness be half or wholly slipped away from you, ask of the wind, or of the wave, or of the star, or of the bird, or of the clock, of whatever flies, or sighs, or rocks, or sings, or speaks, ask what hour it is; and the wind, wave, star, bird, clock will answer you: "It is the hour to be drunken!
”
”
Charles Baudelaire (Paris Spleen)
β€œ
Choices are made in brief seconds and paid for in the time that remains.
”
”
Paolo Giordano (The Solitude of Prime Numbers)
β€œ
Before reaching the final line, however, he had already understood that he would never leave that room, for it was foreseen that the city of mirrors (or mirages) would be wiped out by the wind and exiled from the memory of men at the precise moment when Aureliano Babilonia would finish deciphering the parchments, and that everything written on them was unrepeatable since time immemorial and forever more, because races condemned to one hundred years of solitude did not have a second opportunity on earth.
”
”
Gabriel GarcΓ­a MΓ‘rquez (One Hundred Years of Solitude)
β€œ
Go into yourself. Find out the reason that commands you to write; see whether it has spread its roots into the very depths of your heart; confess to yourself whether you would have to die if you were forbidden to write. This most of all: ask yourself in the most silent hour of your night: must I write? Dig into yourself for a deep answer. And if this answer rings out in assent, if you meet this solemn question with a strong, simple β€œI must,” then build your life in accordance with this necessity; your whole life, even into its humblest and most indifferent hour, must become a sign and witness to this impulse. Then come close to Nature. Then, as if no one had ever tried before, try to say what you see and feel and love and lose... ...Describe your sorrows and desires, the thoughts that pass through your mind and your belief in some kind of beauty - describe all these with heartfelt, silent, humble sincerity and, when you express yourself, use the Things around you, the images from your dreams, and the objects that you remember. If your everyday life seems poor, don’t blame it; blame yourself; admit to yourself that you are not enough of a poet to call forth its riches; because for the creator there is not poverty and no poor, indifferent place. And even if you found yourself in some prison, whose walls let in none of the world’s sounds – wouldn’t you still have your childhood, that jewel beyond all price, that treasure house of memories? Turn your attentions to it. Try to raise up the sunken feelings of this enormous past; your personality will grow stronger, your solitude will expand and become a place where you can live in the twilight, where the noise of other people passes by, far in the distance. - And if out of this turning-within, out of this immersion in your own world, poems come, then you will not think of asking anyone whether they are good or not. Nor will you try to interest magazines in these works: for you will see them as your dear natural possession, a piece of your life, a voice from it. A work of art is good if it has arisen out of necessity. That is the only way one can judge it.
”
”
Rainer Maria Rilke
β€œ
Believe me, I know what it's like to feel all alone...the worst kind of loneliness in the world is the isolation that comes from being misunderstood, It can make people lose their grasp on reality.
”
”
Dan Brown (Inferno (Robert Langdon, #4))
β€œ
Things have a life of their own," the gypsy proclaimed with a harsh accent. "It's simply a matter of waking up their souls.
”
”
Gabriel GarcΓ­a MΓ‘rquez (One Hundred Years of Solitude)
β€œ
I want to be able to be alone, to find it nourishing - not just a waiting.
”
”
Susan Sontag (Reborn: Journals and Notebooks, 1947-1963)
β€œ
It is in your power to withdraw yourself whenever you desire. Perfect tranquility within consists in the good ordering of the mind, the realm of your own.
”
”
Marcus Aurelius (Meditations)
β€œ
Death really did not matter to him but life did, and therefore the sensation he felt when they gave their decision was not a feeling of fear but of nostalgia.
”
”
Gabriel GarcΓ­a MΓ‘rquez (One Hundred Years of Solitude)
β€œ
My passionate sense of social justice and social responsibility has always contrasted oddly with my pronounced lack of need for direct contact with other human beings and human communities. I am truly a 'lone traveler' and have never belonged to my country, my home, my friends, or even my immediate family, with my whole heart; in the face of all these ties, I have never lost a sense of distance and a need for solitude…
”
”
Albert Einstein (Ideas and Opinions)
β€œ
But there is greater comfort in the substance of silence than in the answer to a question.
”
”
Thomas Merton
β€œ
A friend is more than a therapist or confessor, even though a friend can sometimes heal us and offer us God's forgiveness. A friend is that other person with whom we can share our solitude, our silence, and our prayer. A friend is that other person with whom we can look at a tree and say, "Isn't that beautiful," or sit on the beach and silently watch the sun disappear under the horizon. With a friend we don't have to say or do something special. With a friend we can be still and know that God is there with both of us.
”
”
Henri J.M. Nouwen
β€œ
Because when I read, I don't really read; I pop a beautiful sentence into my mouth and suck it like a fruit drop, or I sip it like a liqueur until the thought dissolves in me like alcohol, infusing brain and heart and coursing on through the veins to the root of each blood vessel.
”
”
Bohumil Hrabal (Too Loud a Solitude)
β€œ
You read and write and sing and experience, thinking that one day these things will build the character you admire to live as. You love and lose and bleed best you can, to the extreme, hoping that one day the world will read you like the poem you want to be.
”
”
Charlotte Eriksson
β€œ
Lonely was much better than alone.
”
”
Toni Morrison (The Bluest Eye)
β€œ
When you're socially awkward, you're isolated more than usual, and when you're isolated more than usual, your creativity is less compromised by what has already been said and done. All your hope in life starts to depend on your craft, so you try to perfect it. One reason I stay isolated more than the average person is to keep my creativity as fierce as possible. Being the odd one out may have its temporary disadvantages, but more importantly, it has its permanent advantages.
”
”
Criss Jami (Killosophy)
β€œ
Thus they went on living in a reality that was slipping away, momentarily captured by words, but which would escape irremediably when they forgot the values of the written letters.
”
”
Gabriel GarcΓ­a MΓ‘rquez (One Hundred Years of Solitude)
β€œ
It is a joy to be hidden, and disaster not to be found.
”
”
D.W. Winnicott
β€œ
[A]t bottom, and just in the deepest and most important things, we are unutterably alone, and for one person to be able to advise or even help another, a lot must happen, a lot must go well, a whole constellation of things must come right in order once to succeed.
”
”
Rainer Maria Rilke (Letters to a Young Poet)
β€œ
Does anything in nature despair except man? An animal with a foot caught in a trap does not seem to despair. It is too busy trying to survive. It is all closed in, to a kind of still, intense waiting. Is this a key? Keep busy with survival. Imitate the trees. Learn to lose in order to recover, and remember that nothing stays the same for long, not even pain, psychic pain. Sit it out. Let it all pass. Let it go.
”
”
May Sarton (Journal of a Solitude)
β€œ
Gaston was not only a fierce lover, with endless wisdom and imagination, but he was also, perhaps, the first man in the history of the species who had made an emergency landing and had come close to killing himself and his sweetheart simply to make love in a field of violets.
”
”
Gabriel GarcΓ­a MΓ‘rquez (One Hundred Years of Solitude)
β€œ
Zach walked away, but I stood there for a long time, wondering if I should go to my mother; if I should go to my friends; but instead I slipped into the corridors I hadn't used in months, pushed my way through cobwebs and darkness, trying to walk away from the tears that burned hot down my cheeks, because maybe I didn't want to admit weakness; maybe I wanted to wallow in my solitude and grief. Or maybe crying is like everything else we doβ€”it's best if you don't get caught.
”
”
Ally Carter (Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy (Gallagher Girls, #2))
β€œ
In certain areas of my life, I actively seek out solitude. Especially for someone in my line of work, solitude is, more or less, an inevitable circumstance. Sometimes, however, this sense of isolation, like acid spilling out of a bottle, can unconsciously eat away at a person's heart and dissolve it. You could see it, too, as a kind of double-edged sword. It protects me, but at the same time steadily cuts away at me from the inside.
”
”
Haruki Murakami (What I Talk About When I Talk About Running)
β€œ
What I must do, is all that concerns me, not what the people think. This rule, equally arduous in actual and in intellectual life, may serve for the whole distinction between greatness and meanness. It is the harder, because you will always find those who think they know what is your duty better than you know it. It is easy in the world to live after the world's opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude.
”
”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
β€œ
I have just now come from a party where I was its life and soul; witticisms streamed from my lips, everyone laughed and admired me, but I went away β€” yes, the dash should be as long as the radius of the earth's orbit β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€” and wanted to shoot myself.
”
”
SΓΈren Kierkegaard
β€œ
Lately I've been thinking about who I want to love, and how I want to love, and why I want to love the way I want to love, and what I need to learn to love that way, and how I need to become to become the kind of love I want to be. And when I break it all down, when I whittle it into a single breath, it essentially comes out like this: before I die, I want to be somebody's favorite hiding place, the place they can put everything they need to survive, every secret, every solitude, every nervous prayer, and be absolutely certain I will keep it safe. I will keep it safe.
”
”
Andrea Gibson
β€œ
I want someone to sit beside after the day's pursuit and all its anguish, after its listening, and its waitings, and its suspicions. After quarrelling and reconciliation I need privacy - to be alone with you, to set this hubbub in order. For I am as neat as a cat in my habits.
”
”
Virginia Woolf (The Waves)
β€œ
As soon as we are alone,...inner chaos opens up in us. This chaos can be so disturbing and so confusing that we can hardly wait to get busy again. Entering a private room and shutting the door, therefore, does not mean that we immediatel;y shut ou all our iner doubts, anxieities, fears, bad memories, unresolved conflicts, angry feelings and impulsive desires. On the contrary, when we have removed our outer distraction, we often find that our inner distraction manifest themselves to us in full force. We often use the outer distractions to shield ourselves from the interior noises. This makes the discipline of solitude all the more important.
”
”
Henri J.M. Nouwen (Making All Things New and Other Classics)
β€œ
Lord, when I feel that what I'm doing is insignificant and unimportant, help me to remember that everything I do is significant and important in your eyes, because you love me and you put me here, and no one else can do what I am doing in exactly the way I do it.
”
”
Brennan Manning (Souvenirs of Solitude: Finding Rest in Abba's Embrace)
β€œ
Friendship arises out of mere Companionship when two or more of the companions discover that they have in common some insight or interest or even taste which the others do not share and which, till that moment, each believed to be his own unique treasure (or burden). The typical expression of opening Friendship would be something like, "What? You too? I thought I was the only one." ... It is when two such persons discover one another, when, whether with immense difficulties and semi-articulate fumblings or with what would seem to us amazing and elliptical speed, they share their vision - it is then that Friendship is born. And instantly they stand together in an immense solitude.
”
”
C.S. Lewis (The Four Loves)
β€œ
The Genius Of The Crowd there is enough treachery, hatred violence absurdity in the average human being to supply any given army on any given day and the best at murder are those who preach against it and the best at hate are those who preach love and the best at war finally are those who preach peace those who preach god, need god those who preach peace do not have peace those who preach peace do not have love beware the preachers beware the knowers beware those who are always reading books beware those who either detest poverty or are proud of it beware those quick to praise for they need praise in return beware those who are quick to censor they are afraid of what they do not know beware those who seek constant crowds for they are nothing alone beware the average man the average woman beware their love, their love is average seeks average but there is genius in their hatred there is enough genius in their hatred to kill you to kill anybody not wanting solitude not understanding solitude they will attempt to destroy anything that differs from their own not being able to create art they will not understand art they will consider their failure as creators only as a failure of the world not being able to love fully they will believe your love incomplete and then they will hate you and their hatred will be perfect like a shining diamond like a knife like a mountain like a tiger like hemlock their finest art
”
”
Charles Bukowski
β€œ
I am too alone in the world, and yet not alone enough to make every moment holy. I am too tiny in this world, and not tiny enough just to lie before you like a thing, shrewd and secretive. I want my own will, and I want simply to be with my will, as it goes toward action; and in those quiet, sometimes hardly moving times, when something is coming near, I want to be with those who know secret things or else alone. I want to be a mirror for your whole body, and I never want to be blind, or to be too old to hold up your heavy and swaying picture. I want to unfold. I don’t want to stay folded anywhere, because where I am folded, there I am a lie. and I want my grasp of things to be true before you. I want to describe myself like a painting that I looked at closely for a long time, like a saying that I finally understood, like the pitcher I use every day, like the face of my mother, like a ship that carried me through the wildest storm of all.
”
”
Rainer Maria Rilke (Rilke's Book of Hours: Love Poems to God)
β€œ
Half of me is filled with bursting words and half of me is painfully shy. I crave solitude yet also crave people. I want to pour life and love into everything yet also nurture my self-care and go gently. I want to live within the rush of primal, intuitive decision, yet also wish to sit and contemplate. This is the messiness of life - that we all carry multitudes, so must sit with the shifts. We are complicated creatures, and ultimately, the balance comes from this understanding. Be water. Flowing, flexible and soft. Subtly powerful and open. Wild and serene. Able to accept all changes, yet still led by the pull of steady tides. It is enough.
”
”
Victoria Erickson
β€œ
I have now been married ten years. I know what it is to live entirely for and with what I love best on earth. I hold myself supremely blest - blest beyond what language can express; because I am my husband's life as fully as he is mine. No woman was ever nearer to her mate than I am: ever more absolutely bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh. I know no weariness of my Edward's society: he knows none of mine, any more than we each do the pulsation of the heart that beats in our separate bosoms; consequently, we are ever together. To be together is for us to be at once free as in solitude, as gay as in company. We talk, I believe, all day long: to talk to each other is but more animated and an audible thinking. All my confidence is bestowed on him, all his confidence is devoted to me; we are precisely suited in character - perfect concord is the result.
”
”
Charlotte BrontΓ« (Jane Eyre)
β€œ
Sure, it sucked to be lost, but I'd long ago realized I preferred it to depending on anyone else to get me where I needed to go. That was the thing about being alone, in theory or in principle. Whatever happened- good, bad, or anywhere in between- it was always, if nothing else, all your own.
”
”
Sarah Dessen (Lock and Key)
β€œ
This is the weird aftermath, when it is not exactly over, and yet you have given it up. You go back and forth in your head, often, about giving it up. It’s hard to understand, when you are sitting there in your chair, having breakfast or whatever, that giving it up is stronger than holding on, that β€œletting yourself go” could mean you have succeeded rather than failed. You eat your goddamn Cheerios and bicker with the bitch in your head that keeps telling you you’re fat and weak: Shut up, you say, I’m busy, leave me alone. When she leaves you alone, there’s a silence and a solitude that will take some getting used to. You will miss her sometimes...There is, in the end, the letting go.
”
”
Marya Hornbacher (Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia)
β€œ
For those who are not frightened by the solitude, everything will have a different taste. In solitude, they will discover the love that might otherwise arrive unnoticed. In solitude, they will understand and respect the love that left them. In solitude, they will be able to decide whether it is worth asking that lost love to come back or if they should simply let it go and set off along a new path. In solitude, they will learn that saying β€˜No’ does not always show a lack of generosity and that saying β€˜Yes’ is not always a virtue. And those who are alone at this moment, need never be frightened by the words of the devil: β€˜You’re wasting your time.’ Or by the chief demon’s even more potent words: β€˜No one cares about you.’ The Divine Energy is listening to us when we speak to other people, but also when we are still and silent and able to accept solitude as a blessing. And when we achieve that harmony, we receive more than we asked for.
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Paulo Coelho (Manuscript Found in Accra)
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We carry about us the burden of what thousands of people have said and the memories of all our misfortunes. To abandon all that is to be alone, and the mind that is alone is not only innocent but young -- not in time or age, but young, innocent, alive at whatever age -- and only such a mind can see that which is truth and that which is not measurable by words.
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Jiddu Krishnamurti
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So, now I shall talk every night. To myself. To the moon. I shall walk, as I did tonight, jealous of my loneliness, in the blue-silver of the cold moon, shining brilliantly on the drifts of fresh-fallen snow, with the myriad sparkles. I talk to myself and look at the dark trees, blessedly neutral. So much easier than facing people, than having to look happy, invulnerable, clever. With masks down, I walk, talking to the moon, to the neutral impersonal force that does not hear, but merely accepts my being. And does not smite me down.
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Sylvia Plath (The Journals of Sylvia Plath)
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When the mystery of the connection goes, love goes. It's that simple. This suggests that it isn't love that is so important to us but the mystery itself. The love connection may be merely a device to put us in contact with the mystery, and we long for love to last so that the ecstacy of being near the mystery will last. It is contrary to the nature of mystery to stand still. Yet it's always there, somewhere, a world on the other side of the mirror (or the Camel pack), a promise in the next pair of eyes that smile at us. We glimpse it when we stand still. The romance of new love, the romance of solitude, the romance of objecthood, the romance of ancient pyramids and distant stars are means of making contact with the mystery. When it comes to perpetuating it, however, I got no advice. But I can and will remind you of two of the most important facts I know: 1. Everything is part of it. 2. It's never too late to have a happy childhood.
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Tom Robbins (Still Life with Woodpecker)
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Man was born for society. However little He may be attached to the World, He never can wholly forget it, or bear to be wholly forgotten by it. Disgusted at the guilt or absurdity of Mankind, the Misanthrope flies from it: He resolves to become an Hermit, and buries himself in the Cavern of some gloomy Rock. While Hate inflames his bosom, possibly He may feel contented with his situation: But when his passions begin to cool; when Time has mellowed his sorrows, and healed those wounds which He bore with him to his solitude, think you that Content becomes his Companion? Ah! no, Rosario. No longer sustained by the violence of his passions, He feels all the monotony of his way of living, and his heart becomes the prey of Ennui and weariness. He looks round, and finds himself alone in the Universe: The love of society revives in his bosom, and He pants to return to that world which He has abandoned. Nature loses all her charms in his eyes: No one is near him to point out her beauties, or share in his admiration of her excellence and variety. Propped upon the fragment of some Rock, He gazes upon the tumbling waterfall with a vacant eye, He views without emotion the glory of the setting Sun. Slowly He returns to his Cell at Evening, for no one there is anxious for his arrival; He has no comfort in his solitary unsavoury meal: He throws himself upon his couch of Moss despondent and dissatisfied, and wakes only to pass a day as joyless, as monotonous as the former.
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Matthew Gregory Lewis (The Monk)
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What can I do, Muslims? I do not know myself. I am neither Christian nor Jew, neither Magian nor Muslim, I am not from east or west, not from land or sea, not from the shafts of nature nor from the spheres of the firmament, not of the earth, not of water, not of air, not of fire. I am not from the highest heaven, not from this world, not from existence, not from being. I am not from India, not from China, not from Bulgar, not from Saqsin, not from the realm of the two Iraqs, not from the land of Khurasan. I am not from the world, not from beyond, not from heaven and not from hell. I am not from Adam, not from Eve, not from paradise and not from Ridwan. My place is placeless, my trace is traceless, no body, no soul, I am from the soul of souls. I have chased out duality, lived the two worlds as one. One I seek, one I know, one I see, one I call. He is the first, he is the last, he is the outer, he is the inner. Beyond He and He is I know no other. I am drunk from the cup of love, the two worlds have escaped me. I have no concern but carouse and rapture. If one day in my life I spend a moment without you from that hour and that time I would repent my life. If one day I am given a moment in solitude with you I will trample the two worlds underfoot and dance forever. O Sun of Tabriz, I am so tipsy here in this world, I have no tale to tell but tipsiness and rapture.
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Rumi
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Being alone is not the most awful thing in the world. You visit your museums and cultivate your interests and remind yourself how lucky you are not to be one of those spindly Sudanese children with flies beading their mouths. You make out To Do lists - reorganise linen cupboard, learn two sonnets. You dole out little treats to yourself - slices of ice-cream cake, concerts at Wigmore Hall. And then, every once in a while, you wake up and gaze out of the window at another bloody daybreak, and think, I cannot do this anymore. I cannot pull myself together again and spend the next fifteen hours of wakefulness fending off the fact of my own misery. People like Sheba think that they know what it's like to be lonely. They cast their minds back to the time they broke up with a boyfriend in 1975 and endured a whole month before meeting someone new. Or the week they spent in a Bavarian steel town when they were fifteen years old, visiting their greasy-haired German pen pal and discovering that her hand-writing was the best thing about her. But about the drip drip of long-haul, no-end-in-sight solitude, they know nothing. They don't know what it is to construct an entire weekend around a visit to the laundrette. Or to sit in a darkened flat on Halloween night, because you can't bear to expose your bleak evening to a crowd of jeering trick-or-treaters. Or to have the librarian smile pityingly and say, β€˜Goodness, you're a quick reader!’ when you bring back seven books, read from cover to cover, a week after taking them out. They don't know what it is to be so chronically untouched that the accidental brush of a bus conductor's hand on your shoulder sends a jolt of longing straight to your groin. I have sat on park benches and trains and schoolroom chairs, feeling the great store of unused, objectless love sitting in my belly like a stone until I was sure I would cry out and fall, flailing, to the ground. About all of this, Sheba and her like have no clue.
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ZoΓ« Heller (What Was She Thinking? [Notes on a Scandal])
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Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! The world is holy! The soul is holy! The skin is holy! The nose is holy! The tongue and cock and hand and asshole holy! Everything is holy! everybody's holy! everywhere is holy! everyday is in eternity! Everyman's an angel! The bum's as holy as the seraphim! the madman is holy as you my soul are holy! The typewriter is holy the poem is holy the voice is holy the hearers are holy the ecstasy is holy! Holy Peter holy Allen holy Solomon holy Lucien holy Kerouac holy Huncke holy Burroughs holy Cas- sady holy the unknown buggered and suffering beggars holy the hideous human angels! Holy my mother in the insane asylum! Holy the cocks of the grandfathers of Kansas! Holy the groaning saxophone! Holy the bop apocalypse! Holy the jazzbands marijuana hipsters peace & junk & drums! Holy the solitudes of skyscrapers and pavements! Holy the cafeterias filled with the millions! Holy the mysterious rivers of tears under the streets! Holy the lone juggernaut! Holy the vast lamb of the middle class! Holy the crazy shepherds of rebell- ion! Who digs Los Angeles IS Los Angeles! Holy New York Holy San Francisco Holy Peoria & Seattle Holy Paris Holy Tangiers Holy Moscow Holy Istanbul! Holy time in eternity holy eternity in time holy the clocks in space holy the fourth dimension holy the fifth International holy the Angel in Moloch! Holy the sea holy the desert holy the railroad holy the locomotive holy the visions holy the hallucina- tions holy the miracles holy the eyeball holy the abyss! Holy forgiveness! mercy! charity! faith! Holy! Ours! bodies! suffering! magnanimity! Holy the supernatural extra brilliant intelligent kindness of the soul!
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Allen Ginsberg (Howl and Other Poems)
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Learning After some time, you learn the subtle difference between holding a hand and imprisoning a soul; You learn that love does not equal sex, and that company does not equal security, and you start to learn…. That kisses are not contracts and gifts are not promises, and you start to accept defeat with the head up high and open eyes, and you learn to build all roads on today, because the terrain of tomorrow is too insecure for plans… and the future has its own way of falling apart in half. And you learn that if it’s too much even the warmth of the sun can burn. So you plant your own garden and embellish your own soul, instead of waiting for someone to bring flowers to you. And you learn that you can actually bear hardship, that you are actually strong, and you are actually worthy, and you learn and learn…and so every day. Over time you learn that being with someone because they offer you a good future, means that sooner or later you’ll want to return to your past. Over time you comprehend that only who is capable of loving you with your flaws, with no intention of changing you can bring you all happiness. Over time you learn that if you are with a person only to accompany your own solitude, irremediably you’ll end up wishing not to see them again. Over time you learn that real friends are few and whoever doesn’t fight for them, sooner or later, will find himself surrounded only with false friendships. Over time you learn that words spoken in moments of anger continue hurting throughout a lifetime. Over time you learn that everyone can apologize, but forgiveness is an attribute solely of great souls. Over time you comprehend that if you have hurt a friend harshly it is very likely that your friendship will never be the same. Over time you realize that despite being happy with your friends, you cry for those you let go. Over time you realize that every experience lived, with each person, is unrepeatable. Over time you realize that whoever humiliates or scorns another human being, sooner or later will suffer the same humiliations or scorn in tenfold. Over time you learn to build your roads on today, because the path of tomorrow doesn’t exist. Over time you comprehend that rushing things or forcing them to happen causes the finale to be different form expected. Over time you realize that in fact the best was not the future, but the moment you were living just that instant. Over time you will see that even when you are happy with those around you, you’ll yearn for those who walked away. Over time you will learn to forgive or ask for forgiveness, say you love, say you miss, say you need, say you want to be friends, since before a grave, it will no longer make sense. But unfortunately, only over time…
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Jorge Luis Borges