Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Words On Solitude And Silence


“Our language has wisely sensed the two sides of being alone. It has created the word “loneliness” to express the pain of being alone. And it has created the word “solitude” to express the glory of being alone.”
Paul Tillich

“What a lovely surprise to discover how un-lonely being alone can be.”
Ellen Burstyn

“Light the candles and pour the red wine into your glass. Before you eat, raise your glass in honor of yourself. The company is the best you will ever have.”
Daniel Halpern

“We need time to dream, time to remember, and time to reach the infinite. Time to be.”
Gladys Taber (1899-1980)

“Listen in deep silence. Be very still and open your mind…. Sink deep in to the peace that waits for you beyond the frantic, riotous thoughts and sights and sounds of this insane world.”
From “A Course in Miracles”

“Let my doing nothing when I have nothing to do, become untroubled in its depth of peace, like the evening in the seashore when the water is silent.”
Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941)

“The need for temporary solitude is so intense it amounts to an impediment, a malady, chronic and incurable like recurring malaria…. Like a remittent fever it is nothing you can banish. Outwardly we look okay, but inwardly we are desperate; gasping and frantic for something as integral to ourselves as the colour of our eyes.”
Mirabel Osler

“When one is a stranger to oneself, then one is estranged from others, too. If one is out of touch with oneself, then one cannot touch others…. Only when one is connected to one’s own core, is one connected to others….. And for me, the core, the inner spring, can best be re-found through silence.”
Anne Morrow Lindbergh. B.1906

“Learn to be quiet enough to hear the sound of the genuine within yourself so that you can hear it in others.”
Marian Wright Edelman

“My idea of heaven is opening the door into an empty room- not forever, I haven’t enough resources, but for at least great chunks of time each day… A room or a garden- it doesn’t matter which - is the breath of life…”
Mirabel Osler

“In solitude, we are LEAST alone….”
Lord Byron (1788-1824)

“Loneliness is the poverty of self, solitude is the richness of self.”
May Sarton (1912-1995)

“We seem so frightened today of being alone that we never let it happen. Even if family, friends, and the movies should fail, there is still the radio or television to fill up the void…. We can do our housework with soap-opera heroes at our side…. Now, instead of planting our solitude with our own dream blossoms, we choke the space with continuous music, chatter, and companionship to which we do not even listen. It is simply there to fill the vacuum. When the noise stops there is no inner music to take its place. We must re-learn to be alone.”
Anne Morrow Lindbergh, B. 1906

“Once, after a particularly claustrophobic, stressful and over-populated time when there hadn’t been air or space to escape to, suddenly, for a few days, I was alone. It was like emigrating to another planet ( in fact I was at home ). Who was this person I was living with, this strange, this reasonable, serene foreigner in the house: a becalmed woman who spent her time inwardly humming?”
Mirabel Osler

“There is pleasure in the pathless woods, There is a rapture on the lonely shore, There is a society where none intrudes, By the deep sea, and music in its roar: I love not man the less, but nature more.”
Lord Byron (1788-1824)

“All man’s miseries derive from not being able to sit quiet in a room alone.”
Blaise Pascal (1623-1662)

“I am here alone for the first time in weeks, to take up my “real” life again at last. That is what is strange - that friends, even passionate love, are not my real life unless there is time alone in which to explore and discover what is happening or what has happened. Without the interruptions, nourishing and maddening, this life would become arid. Yet I taste it fully only when I am alone….”
May Sarton (1912-1995)

“Solitude gives birth to the original in us, to beauty, unfamiliar and perilous….”
Thomas Mann (1875-1955)

“You do not need to leave your room… Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait. Do not even wait, be quite still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked. It has no choice. It will roll in ecstasy at your feet.”
Frank Kafka (1883-1924)

“Never do I close my door behind me without being conscious that I am carrying out an act of charity towards myself.”
Peter Hoeg

“The cure for all the illness of life is stored in the inner depth of life itself, the access to which becomes possible when we are alone. This solitude is a world in itself, full of wonders and resources unthought of. It is absurdly near; yet so unapproachably distant.”
Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941)

“I will take time to be alone today. I will take time to be quiet. In this silence I will listen… and I will hear my answers.”
Ruth Fishel

“There is a silence into which the world cannot intrude. There is an ancient peace you carry in your heart and have not lost.”
From “A Course in Miracles”

1 comment:

gwenbk said...

Thank you for sharing this beautiful collection of thoughts on quiet and solitude. Much to ponder and beautifully expressed.