What I most want is to spring out of this personality, then to sit apart from that leaping. I’ve lived too long where I can be reached. Rumi
Our lives are often like over-packed suitcases. It seems like we are always busy, always over-pressured, always one phone call, one text message, one email, one visit, and one task behind. We are forever anxious about what we have still left undone, about whom we have disappointed, about unmet expectations. Moreover, inside of all of that, we can forever be reached. We have no quiet island to escape to, no haven of solitude. We can always be reached. Half the world has our contact numbers and we feel pressure to be available all the time. So we often feel as if we are on a treadmill from which we would want to step off. And within all that busyness, pressure, noise, and tiredness we long for solitude, long for some quiet, peaceful island where all the pressure and noise will stop and we can sit in simple rest. That’s a healthy yearning. It’s our soul speaking. Like our bodies, our souls too keep trying to tell us what they need.
[But]…Solitude is not something we turn on like a water faucet. It needs a body and mind slowed down enough to be attentive to the present moment. We are in solitude when….we fully taste the water we are drinking, feel the warmth of our blankets, and are restful enough to be content inside our own skin. We don’t often accomplish this, despite sincere effort, but we need to keep making new beginnings.
Ron Rolheiser, Longing For Solitude