As she looked at her own face in the mirror, she suddenly recalled the sorrowful widow. It was at that moment that she wrote the opening lines of “Solitude“.
Laugh, and the world laughs with you;
Weep, and you weep alone;
For the sad old earth must borrow its mirth,
But has trouble enough of its own. ~ Ella Wheeler Wilcox
In giving shape my view of the world having a solitary person in the foreground suggests that it is okay to be alone but not lonely.
All work and no rest makes a man boring. Rest he did in his three-wheeler taxi cab. Who needs money when one is too tired to enjoy life. When he wakes up from his solitude, life becomes bearable again.
And what on earth is he doing down there alone? Fishing! Men prefer to reel a fish similar to playing golf, alone. So why do men enjoy fishing alone? Because the fish are bigger and the stories are better with no witnesses!
In a crowd of a million tourist, he just have to sit down with a non-verbal companion. Maybe he had enough listening, blah-blah-blah. Or maybe he is just like me observing how silly tourist really are. Or maybe he left his wife in a store shopping. Or maybe…
Ah, solitude, such sweet surrender.
“I never found a companion that was more companionable than solitude.” ~ Henry David Thoreau
It is useless to try to make peace with ourselves by being pleased with everything we have done. In order to settle down in the quiet of our own being we must learn to be detached from the results of our own activity. We must withdraw ourselves, to some extent, from the effects that are beyond our control and be content with the good will and the work that are the quiet expression of our inner life. We must be content to live without watching ourselves live, to work without expecting any immediate reward, to love without an instantaneous satisfaction, and to exist without any special recognition….
To allow oneself to be carried away by a multitude of conflicting concerns, to surrender to too many demands, to commit oneself to too many projects, to want to help everyone in everything, is to succumb to the violence of our times.
~ Thomas Merton
Today I’m flying low and I’m
not saying a word
I’m letting all the voodoos of ambition sleep.
The world goes on as it must,
the bees in the garden rumbling a little,
the fish leaping, the gnats getting eaten.
And so forth.
But I’m taking the day off.
Quiet as a feather.
I hardly move though really I’m traveling
a terrific distance.
Stillness. One of the doors
into the temple.