To Bathe in Solitude

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“I suffer from life and from other people. I can’t look at reality face to face. Even the sun discourages and depresses me. Only at night and all alone, withdrawn, forgotten and lost, with no connection to anything real or useful — only then do I find myself and feel comforted.”

– Fernando Pessoa, The Book of Disquiet

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Artwork Courtesy of BAG MAN-Visuals by Ethan McCarthy (click for more)

“In spite of language, in spite of intelligence and intuition and sympathy, one can never really communicate anything to anybody. The essential substance of every thought and feeling remains incommunicable, locked up in the impenetrable strong-room of the individual soul and body. Our life is a sentence of perpetual solitary confinement.”

– Aldous Huxley

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“We must become so alone, so utterly alone, that we withdraw into our innermost self. It is a way of bitter suffering. But then our solitude is overcome, we are no longer alone, for we find that our innermost self is the spirit, that it is God, the indivisible. And suddenly we find ourselves in the midst of the world, yet undisturbed by its multiplicity, for our innermost soul we know ourselves to be one with all being.”

– Hermann Hesse

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“Guard well your spare moments. They are like uncut diamonds. Discard them and their value will never be known. Improve them and they will become the brightest gems in a useful life.”

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

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“I was a man who thrived on solitude; without it I was like another man without food or water. Each day without solitude weakened me. I took no pride in my solitude; but I was dependent on it. The darkness of the room was like sunlight to me.”

– Charles Bukowski, Factotum

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“I find it wholesome to be alone the greater part of the time. To be in company, even with the best, is soon wearisome and dissipating. I love to be alone. I never found the companion that was so companionable as solitude.”

– Henry David Thoreau, Walden

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“How much better is silence; the coffee cup, the table. How much better to sit by myself like the solitary sea-bird that opens its wings on the stake. Let me sit here for ever with bare things, this coffee cup, this knife, this fork, things in themselves, myself being myself.”

– Virginia Woolf, The Waves

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“Wherever they might be they always remember that the past was a lie, that memory has no return, that every spring gone by could never be recovered, and that the wildest and most tenacious love was an ephemeral truth in the end.”

– Gabriel Garcí­a Márquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude

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The Abbey in the Oakwood by Caspar David Friedrich

“I need to be alone. I need to ponder my shame and my despair in seclusion; I need the sunshine and the paving stones of the streets without companions, without conversation, face to face with myself, with only the music of my heart for company.”

– Henry Miller, Tropic of Cancer

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“I need solitude for my writing; not ‘like a hermit’ – that wouldn’t be enough – but like a dead man.”

– Franz Kafka

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5 thoughts on “To Bathe in Solitude

  1. ” ‘I was a man who thrived on solitude; without it I was like another man without food or water. Each day without solitude weakened me. I took no pride in my solitude; but I was dependent on it. The darkness of the room was like sunlight to me.’

    – Charles Bukowski, Factotum”

    Wonderful, wonderful quote. I’m going to be reading this book soon. And now I’m really looking forward to it! ::smiles::

    Liked by 1 person

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