Every day in the bush is a day spent in my own company.
“The more powerful and original a mind, the more it will incline towards the religion of solitude.”
Solitude is important to me, I need a lot of it. I love sincere people. I find them profoundly interesting, and frequently delightful. Their company is rejuvenating. Social contact with the insincere is a plague.
“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 [hu]man the less, but Nature more”
George Gordon Byron
My days of solitude are surrounded by nature. My property is wild, flora and fauna growing where and how it will. Around it though are constant reminders of human indulgence and excess. Generators roar, ATVs whine beneath the trees, snowmobiles drone through white expanses, and there is a frequent hum of SUV’s on the distant highway. It seems the planet cannot hear itself think.
“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.”
Leonardo da Vinci
Yes, oh yes, the thoughtlessness of conduct diminishes. Spending time with shallow people, intent on maintaining false fronts of comfort, is very difficult and unfulfilling work. I have observed though, that in many instances, in the company of other sincere beings, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
“Loneliness is the poverty of self; solitude is richness of self.”
I agree that solitude is richness of self, when one can detach for periods of time from connections with others. I have to disagree about loneliness representing a poverty of self. It can do, of course. Most loneliness, I feel, is not a poverty of self, but a poverty of community, communities that have failed to provide meaningful and strong experiences of connection.
“Can you understand being alone so long
you would go out in the middle of the night
and put a bucket into the well
so you could feel something down there
tug at the other end of the rope?”
And it is here that I come to today’s personal epiphany. Alone, with the cold wind roaring against the walls for company, I began to read aloud. I surprised myself, because I enjoyed it, giving my voice to another person’s thoughts, as if they might really be here. I realized how unfamiliar my own voice has become, how strange the resonance in my head, and chest. After stumbling along the words the path suddenly cleared, and the story lay smooth before me, echoes of human thoughts and feelings, that were not my own.
It is Luna’s birthday today, hoping she has a good one! When I was her age I thought myself approaching old age. Now I think of her age as young. Time has its own parallax.
The wind is literally roaring around the house. Snow squalls come and go. The temperature is dropping. The winds are to roar for several days, and we anticipate power failures. We have setup our cooler and planned a few days meals that can be cooked on the little cast iron wood stove in the basement. Our candles and emergency lights are on the ready. There is little more we can do to prepare.
Mist, who is totally deaf, is totally undisturbed by the roaring gusts!
Date: 2:39 PM EST Monday 9 December 2013
Pressure: 100.8 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Wind: SW 22 gust 32 km/h
Wind Chill: -7
“One of the advantages of being disorderly is that one is constantly making exciting discoveries.”
A. A. Milne
1882 – 1956