The Necessity of Solitude

Women are givers. Women writers are some of the most giving people I know.

We tend to have stronger relationships because of it–with babies, grown children, friends, and extended family.

But unless you learn how to balance all this giving with replenishment, you’ll find it nearly impossible to write.

Gift from the Sea

It has been a particularly busy family time the last two months, with little sleep and too little time to write. I wouldn’t go back and change any of it either–very rewarding times. But there comes a time when you realize you’re close to being drained. Pay attention to those times, or you’ll pay for it later (in your health, in your lack of writing, and in lack of patience with those around you).

This morning I was reading a bit in one of my favorite little books, Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s book, Gift from the Sea. I re-read it at least once a year. Here are a few snippets that might speak to you giving women:

  • What a circus act we women perform every day of our lives. It leads …to fragmentation. It does not bring grace; it destroys the soul.
  • Eternally, woman spills herself away in driblets to the thirsty, seldom being allowed the time, the quiet, the peace, to let the pitcher fill up to the brim.
  • Only when one is connected to one’s own core is one connected to others, I am beginning to discover. And, for me, the core, the inner spring, can best be refound through solitude.
  • One must lose one’s life to find it. Woman can best refind herself by losing herself in some kind of creative activity of her own.

Is That You?

If you find yourself feeling fragmented and agitated today, find a way to steal away from everyone for even ten minutes of total solitude (and if possible, silence). Breathe deeply. Bring the energy spilled on everyone else back inside for a few minutes. Re-focus. Relax.

If you have a couple hours, get a copy of Gift from the Sea and read straight through it. You’ll love it!

And tell us your favorite way to find solitude–whether for a day or just a few minutes. We all need suggestions for this!

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2 Responses to The Necessity of Solitude

  1. Vijaya says:

    How true! I am so blessed to have this solitude in my life. I wonder how I can develop it in my children who love being on the go. They know to be quiet and the years that I was sick were wonderful for cultivating the art of silence, but how quickly they are losing it … We do take them for Adoration, walks on the beach, etc. That book sounds like a gem! Thanks for the rec.

    • kwpadmin says:

      I see the same thing in my grandkids, Vijaya. I am the grandparent who takes them on nature walks and bike rides and trips to book sales. It feels sometimes like you are swimming upstream against the tide of always being electronically connected. But I want them to hunger for solitude and see how restorative it is. They need it whether they recognize the need or not. They are always better for it too.

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