Saturday, January 13, 2007


Ah! I am alone. It is divine. Just me, the computer, and no one else around.

Solitude is highly underrated. Don't get me wrong: I love being around people, but up to a certain extent. After that, I have to be alone, and I will take it any way I can get it. Usually, in my case, that will involve a long drive somewhere, and any amount of gas money I spend is worth it for those hours of being alone with my own thoughts. As if you didn't notice already, I am a world-class ponderer. I always have some thought rolling around in my brain and picking up steam. Those times of solitude allow me to either roll with it, or stop it and work it out.

I know this solitude can't last forever. Everyone will come streaming back in at some point, jaws flapping and voices filling what is now a beautiful silence. The only sounds literally are coming from my own breath, the quiet drone of the computer fan, the squeaky chair I'm in, the fingers hitting the keyboard, and the occasional chime of the clock. This is heaven.

Being alone used to bother me. The silence was always deafening. I had to have the crowd, the noise, the chatter. I realize now that it was because I didn't want to be alone with myself. These days, I'm far more apt to seek the quiet spaces. I guess I finally took Depeche Mode's advice and have learned to "enjoy the silence."

Again, not that I don't love people and want to shut myself away forever..... I would croak without human contact. But I find that I enjoy the social dimension of my life far more when I know that I have appreciated the beauty of being alone. There's a great article in Psychology Today about solitude versus loneliness, and it matches a lot of what I'm trying to say here.



Talmadge G. said...

You and I both are ponderers worthy of some kind of award.

I completely agree - there's a complete ocean between "loneliness" and "solitude." Solo time is good time, it's reflective time, it's regroup time, it's defrag time.

Oh, and in the car? I have a name for what you describe: D&R, or (D)riving (&) (R)eflecting.

I think the perfect word/metaphor here is "defragment" -- as running that process helps PCs run faster, our own minds do much the same.

Does that make sense? Gawd, I hope so.


日月神教-任我行 said...
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