Monday, December 01, 2003

Nathaniel Hawthorne, "Blithedale Romance", -the wood-path chpt. XI

"Not long after the preceding incident, in order to get the ache of too constant labor out of my bones, and to relieve my spirit of the irksomeness of a settled routine, I took a holiday. It was my purpose to spend it, all alone, from breakfast time till twilight, in the deepest wood seclusion that lay anywhere around us. Though fond of society, I was so constituted as to need these occasional retirements, even in a life like that of Blithedale, which was itself characterized by a remoteness from the world. Unless renewed by a yet farther withdrawal towards the inner circle of self-communion, I lost the better part of my individuality. My thoughts became of little worth, and my sensibilities grew as arid as a tuft of moss (a thing whose life is in the shade, the rain, or the noontide dew) crumbling in the sunshine, after long expectance of a shower. So, with my heart full of drowsy pleasure, and cautious not to dissipate my mood by previous intercourse with any one, I hurried away, and was soon pacing a wood-path, arched overhead with boughs, and dusky brown beneath my feet."
-Hawthorne

Solitude, i am not sure why i adore it so. the feeling of being by myself, able to think through situations or imagine new possibilites for my life. i think people like the TV/Fastfood lifestyle, where everything happens so fast, they have no time to think, dream, or know themselves.
Aristotle said "The unexamined life is not worth living,"now im not saying sucide is an option if you dont spend an hour a week by yourself, but i am saying take some time. If any of you dont have a journal i really encourage you to write in one. your kids can learn from it, you can learn from your acomplishments, and make sure you dont make the same mistakes. so go to barnes and nobel and buy a 4$ blank book and start. Di Vinci, Van Gogh, Joan of Arc, etc. all kept journals, now its your turn.
-stephen christian

2 comments:

Story of a Girl said...

I love it too. I can never get enough of it because I hardly ever have it:( Love journaling too :)

Anouk said...

I know you wrote this like AGES ago, but I completely agree with you. Not that I don't love my family and friends and all, but it's kind of my favorite time when I can just go off and be by myself--especially with nature. Just something about being secluded in the middle of a woods where you can't hear society or anything, it's...nice, actually. Since 5th grade (almost 9 yrs ago!!) I've been an aspiring writer, and for me anyway, these times of solitude are the best times for me to feel inspired to write. And actually, my best stuff tends to come from that solitude. Coincidence? I think not.

Maybe it's the serenity and sort of inner peace I get from sitting on a log with a notebook in my lap, or laying under the stars, not caring if my clothes get soaked with dew. There's some sort of strange beauty that comes from solitude, and I think maybe it flows into my writing. (Or, I like to think it does)

I don't know how much you've read of (the French philosopher) Sartre and his theories of Existentialism, but one of the ideas he had was that us humans are at our core quite solitary creatures. BUT! As much as we would love to live on our own, we NEED others. We can't not be social. So as much as we are annoyed by the interruption of solitude, we also welcome it because we need it to survive. With sanity anyway.

Or. that's what I took from it anyway.

Back to the point. Just...yeah. Reinforcing what you and all those other famous old-school guys said >.>