Objective No. 3: Solitude

It is attributed to Thoreau to have written,

As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will appear less complex, and solitude will not be solitude, nor poverty poverty, nor weakness weakness.

What strikes me about this quote is his laudation of simplicity, of the overlooked positive aspects of solitude, poverty, and weakness. Such disdained characteristics in society, yet the masses produce no alternative except clutter, hubris, and the numbing sensation of sensory overloading. Humans can no longer just be, without the inundation of some distraction from the monotony of their own minds. I do not exclude myself from being prey to this.

In fact, I am possibly the guiltiest culprit of hiding behind superfluous thrills to forget about it all. I own way too many records, I’m constantly investing money into all sorts of excessive gadgets, and, most destructively, I am incapable of being alone. Falling asleep that first night in my empty apartment when my roommate left for Christmas break was the most uncomfortable thing I’ve felt in a long time.

But surrounding myself with things, people, and entertainment doesn’t exactly make me happy either. Even just after a week of living my day-to-day life, I always feel the need to hermit myself away somewhere for a day, just to recuperate from it all.

And so this brings me to my New Year’s Objective No. 3, which is to embrace solitude. I need to become content with being by myself. Only then will I ever even begin to understand what I want out of life, or even what I am beneath all impressed societal norms, all excess. I need to paint, write, read, and maybe learn a new language. I need to learn how to make a soufflé.

…I have a lot of work to do.


This entry was published on January 7, 2012 at 22:00. It’s filed under Prattle and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

3 thoughts on “Objective No. 3: Solitude

  1. Good post. Good luck. And don’t forget the most important thing of all about solitude: prayer. Because The Point is never, ultimately, to be alone.

    We are made for communion.

    Love you!

  2. That quote by Thoreau reminds me of another quote that goes something like, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” I love the way you describe this trend in society as “clutter, hubris, and the numbing sensation of sensory overloading”, as I wholeheartedly believe it’s true and I couldn’t have said it better myself. I can’t imagine society going back to the way it is, to keeping things more simple because that would just be impossible. Just like how long-distant communication has made life a little bit easier for people because of more advanced technology, and to be a little more at ease with self-expression among strangers. That just made me reflect on what I’m a little grateful for with the things we’ve been given but at the same time, their uses can be detrimental because they surround us and we become enslaved by cheap thrills and instant… well, thrills lol So I’m like you at times when all this information overload becomes too unbearable, that there’s no better escape route than to paint, write, read, or make toast with butter, I guess. I don’t ask for too much of a good thing and that’s why it leaves me satisfied. :)

    • Thanks so much for the comment! What you said, about long distance ease and simultaneous close-quarter discomfort, is such an accurate way of describing the problem in our technology-obsessed society. Granted, I can’t make that claim without recognizing that with this very reply, I’m totally adding to it all…. But either way, keep on painting and making toast with butter. Or cream cheese, ’cause that stuff is good.

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