Fertile solitude is the basic unit of a full and contented life. The line between solitude and loneliness can be thin but there is a difference. Loneliness is difficult to confess; difficult too to categorize. I have no such difficulty confessing solitude here on Fair Isle.
What does it feel like to be lonely? It feels like being hungry: like being hungry when everyone around you is readying for a feast. Fertile solitude, however, is learning to enjoy your own company.More than that, it is a developmental achievement, on the road to knowing thy self.
“All of humanity’s problems,” the French scientist and philosopher Blaise Pascal wrote in 1654, “stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.” Or for that matter, on Britian’s most remote inhabited island.
The best things in life happen to you when you’re alone and despite the camaraderie and the spirit of cooperation, for the most part we are alone on this island. That’s ok.
Everyone should experience at least one prolonged period of solitude in life. For in true solitude, one’s inner voices become audible and in consequence, one responds more clearly to other lives.
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