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An Island of Solitude

I'm pretty sure I've quoted -at some point- Anne Morrow Lindbergh on my blog. I love her book 'Gift from the Sea,' if you haven't read it I encourage you to do so. It's written mainly for women, but I can see many things that could be useful for a man. However, as a woman, I find it to be a lighthouse in my stormy sea and I cherish every word written in it's pages. Here's an excerpt:
"We are all, in the last analysis, alone. And this basic state of solitude is not something we have any choice about. It is, as the poet Rilke says, "not something that one can take or leave. We are solitary. We may delude ourselves and act as though this were not so. That is all. But how much better it is to realize that we are so, yes, even to begin by assuming it. Naturally," he goes on to say, "we will turn giddy."
Naturally. How one hates to think of oneself as alone. How one avoids it. It seems to imply rejection or unpopularity....
...I find there is a quality to being alone that is incredibly precious. Life rushes back into the void, richer, more vivd, fuller than before."
I've had people comment on how 'well read' I am or what an 'avid reader' I am. Avid reader, yes but well read? No, hardly. The only 'classics' I've read were either forced on me as a teenager or were written by Jane Austen. I am always meaning to read more 'literary masterpieces.' I'm interested in reading 'The Arabian Nights' or 'Don Quixote' and many, many other's. But I find I never have the time.
Now before you roll your eyes, I'll correct myself, I never MAKE the time for the classics. I'm to engulfed in the genres and authors I like: fantasy, historical fiction, memoirs; Brandon Sanderson, Nicholas Sparks, Jane Austen, Stephenie Meyers. That's why I like book groups so much, it forces me to move out of my comfort zone (something I don't do very well) and read things I would probably never get around to. In fact that's how I was introduced to 'Gift from the Sea.'

What does this have to do with solitude and Anne Morrow Lindbergh. Well, I find my solitude in the written word. I find replenishment in words. Written, sang (sung?), spoken, you name it (if you can come up with any other way the words are used tell me). It invigorates me! It makes my blood run fresh and blue in my veins!
Entire worlds within ones mind open for the world to see. Pieces of each author painstakingly given to everyone who will but listen or read.
When I meet people who say, "I don't like to read." or "I don't have time for reading." I want to scream at them, to shout, "What are you saying?! Don't you understand what you're missing!?"
I have 3 bookshelves full to the brim of the written, bound word. It is likely that I spend more money on books than I do on clothes and shoes combined.
But I'm not well read, I need to work on that and I need to work on writing my own words, cause if you haven't noticed I like that too. But for now I like to retreat to my island of solitude. It moves you know? My island has the ability to take me to far off worlds where the pain and tedium of life is swept away in adventure, love and imagination.
I hope you know what your island is. If not, why not take some time to try and figure it out, because no matter how you avoid it, "we are all, in the last analysis, alone." And that, in my opinion, can be one of God's greatest gifts.


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