Solitude and …

by bjmuirhead

The difficulty with living in solitude is knowing that there is no one to share the load of your thoughts and obsessions.

Of course, very few of us live in absolute solitude, we always know someone. But we do not necessarily know someone who meets our thought on a level where we talk and thing to ourselves that they really understood us. Perhaps that is why some of us write, or make some form of art that we can talk to.

Solitude is necessary, it is wonderful, but it also is its own trap and can become a cell within which we talk to ourselves, losing the ability to relax around other people with our thoughts. It can become a matter of should I say that to them? How do I say it so they understand me?

I forget which writer it was, but the (apocryphal?) story goes that every time he had sex with someone, he would mutter there goes another novel…

Clearly solitude was something he recognised as  necessary for creation (or someone was trying to stop him getting together with so many women!).

In all honesty, I doubt I would write if I did not feel myself to be enclosed in a solitude within which I must say something or continue into a quiet craziness. Or perhaps I would write, simply because one has to do something, to be something in a world always focused on some strange teleology: money, career, respect… None of which decrease solitude, if that is what you experience, but all of which lead other people to think better of you.

For me (let’s be personal) the primary difficulty with solitude is the lack of touch. Until I entered my current state I did not realise just how much I have relied on hugs from various beloved but now absent family and friends. And sex, yes, I would happily join that French writer in loosing another bit of writing to a rollicking good fuck. But I doubt it would do anything for the urge to find someone who could meet my thoughts and create the delightful eroticism of shared meaning.

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