Stealing A Moment Of Solitude
“Here in my solitude, I have the feeling that I contain too much humanity.” -Ingmar Bergman
Do we stop appreciating the beauty of the moon just because there are defined dark patches adorning its surface? Would we acknowledge the grandiose of the Colosseum just as much had it not been embellished with historical ruins? Would we still value our day’s work had the night not been there to soothe our tired and weary souls?
Only a few know that Van Gogh painted “The Starry Night” while he was in asylum in 1889. While the “midsummer yellow sun” and “bright sunflowers” mesmerized Van Gogh, it was the darkness of the night that enthralled him and inspired him to paint his best works to life.
He had then written to his brother Theo, “It often seems to me that the night is much more alive and richly colored than the day.” His creativity arose out of his solitude and the dark nights that he spent alone adding colors to his art.
Be it Beethoven or Thoreau, defining moments of solitude have been a common and ruling factor in many a great man’s life; who later went down to be written in the pages of history.
Keeping away from the whirl of social life, these men built a castle of solace for themselves made out of the raw components of their isolation and creativity. Their thoughts echoing within the walls of their minds was the only thing keeping them company for a major part of their lives.
But to what measure is it possible for the generation today to reserve such similar moments of solitude for themselves, especially in a contemporary age where humans are termed as social animals? We have let ourselves become very easily susceptible to the diversions of everyday life.
We see our social wants increasing at the cost that the voices of those around us superimposing over ours to the extent that we begin to mistake their external voice to be ours. Yet we are but unaware of it, clueless many a times about who we are and who we want to be, and that is where those minutes spent in silent solitude can play an extremely crucial role.
After the busy exchange of thoughts with a variety of minds throughout the day, it is all the more important that we find those moments of peace where we can be just by ourselves. We need to steal those moments from our life where can talk to ourselves, spend time with ourselves and identify and possibly discover ourselves anew.
We are but a sum total of all the experiences and conversations we have undergone in our life. The moments spent in solitude help us decide which of those experiences we should allow to be a part of us and which of them would be better left forgotten.
Ironically, Silence though empty itself, holds the power to populate our souls with hope, unleash our imagination and reinforce our individuality. Solitary confinement with our thoughts opens up before us a whole new world full of desires, dreams and aspirations where we are given an equal chance to fail as we are given to succeed.
I never found the companion that was so companionable as solitude.”
-Henry David Thoreau, Walden
There is nothing more interesting than what isolation has to offer. It offered Beethoven the creativity to come up with the best compositions that would be played till centuries later.
It offered the likes of Charlotte Bronte and Roald Dahl to come up with literary masterpieces like Jane Eyre and Matilda (Roald Dahl used to seclude himself for a few hours everyday to write at the end of a canopied path). It offered Isaac Newton the role of a torch-bearer to usher in a period of scientific revolution.
Little did they know then that it would reap them such sweet fruits immortalized by time. Solitude has added dimensions to many such creative pursuits.
Though their choices and lifestyle may have distanced them from worldly affairs then, as Beethoven quoted in his letter to his brothers, they would be reconciled with the world that had once not understood them through their art after their death.
Navigating my way through life's beautiful stories!