Moments of Solitude arrive unbidden, hold us awhile, and then returns us to the hurly-burly, as well as our mind’s constant chatter. At the beginning of the 21st century, amid the crowded technologies that bind us ever closer, it’s highly unfashionable to seek, or admit to, a desire for solitude.
Solitude is the opposite of being alone, or lonely. Solitude connects us to something larger than ourselves. If you’ve experienced solitude, you know it can occur anywhere: on a crowded city street, as it did for W.B. Yeats in The Lake Isle of Innisfree, or can occur standing at the kitchen sink, or in the dead of night an inch from your partner, or it occurs in wilderness, often in wilderness, and is accompanied by an inner silence. Solitude is a delight. My grandmother’s admonition, “It’s not by appointment we meet delight,” includes solitude.
Traveling alone for months at a time in the arctic, solitude became my friend. If I had not felt its presence hovering around me, in watching the river, during the endless hours paddling my canoe Loon, in the small pop of the willow twigs in the fire, the sky’s arctic expanse, I would not have enjoyed my journeys. And you?
Going Solo is a community site for those who have tasted solitude. When there are five hundred of us, we’ll hold a gathering, as much for the pleasure of the oxymoron, as to show doubting family, friends, and others, solitude’s merit. The site is to share experiences of solitude and to be reminded of Solitude’s value.
Join Us! Send in a $10.00 membership fee along with an account of your experience of solitude to receive your Going Solo lapel pin, to read others’ accounts of solitude, and to be reminded, in an age of increasing frenetic activity, of solitude’s grace.