Finding Alone, Not Lonely
words by Edana Isobel Jamora + photography by Michael Greene
“The more powerful and original a mind, the more it will incline towards the religion of solitude.”
― Aldous Huxley
Being alone and finding peace is a craft that needs to be constantly nurtured. From art to philosophy, it’s home for the greats, the artists, the writers and the visionaries. Far from lonely, being alone is where our souls go to find harmony. It should be regarded as one of the most basic human necessities. So why is it so hard for us to find this tranquil space for ourselves within the world that we live in today?
Letting our minds drift and explore possibilities that are often cut short are there to be discovered. Alone is extraordinarily important for our state of mind, our wellbeing and cultural aptitude. Before we are one with another, we are one with ourselves, before we find our other, we too must find ourselves.
The rested, lone mind is avid and unrestricted; free to roam the green pastures of ponder and thought - to find truth and contemplation without any other disturbances and precedent. Have we as humans in this extremely digitised, reliant age lost the touch of being one with thyself? Do we not know who we are without the assurance of others, the safety net of what we already know?
There is so much untethered area to cover and explore. When was the last time you sat at a café alone and just enjoyed a cup of coffee with your own thoughts or observed human interaction and all it’s inspiring intricacies? When was the last time you spent a whole day just wandering, doing what you’ve always wanted without ‘higher priorities’ intercepting? When was the last time you weren’t occupied by a meeting, an event, a deadline, a phone, a computer, a novel? We are constantly escaping from the beauty of what we have right within us, the ability to use our minds and our imagination at our own disposal. What a rarity to find an individual in solitude simply wandering. As Tolkien wrote, ‘Not all those who wander are lost’.
Throughout the last couple of years of my adolescence and early adulthood I’ve noticed that restraint of the good is as counterproductive as trying to pedal with your brakes on. Whereas enjoyment and leisure is held as high as almost what seems to be unreachable for the daily grinder. However, we do not indulge in it as often enough as we should. After all it is good for our morale.
I like the ability and freedom I have to create conscious decisions to be governed by what I want to do, what I enjoy and what I love.
Everyday I try to find a bit of peace and alone, whether it is through sitting on my lounge staring into the open blue sky, watching the clouds transform shapes as they pass, there I let thoughts infiltrate my mind. Some of my best ideas have come from just sitting there, still. Listening to Ella Fitzgerald with a glass of wine whilst writing passages and sweet sorrows of lost love, fond happenings and explorations. Just Thinking. Breathing. Being. You will be surprised how the simpler things that you proactively participate in bring about inexplicable joy.
Productivity and catching up with deadlines and our ‘must to-do lists’ are not the only definitions of spending our precious time well. As how do we justify running after time that seems to always try twice as hard to run away from us. To then think in retrospect, did we even enjoy ourselves?
I am a big believer in (the occasional participation of) doing anything, doing nothing, drinking too much wine, eating too much delicious food, enjoying the little pleasures- while maybe not definitively healthy for our bodies, -extraordinarily important in recharging our beings whilst healthy and beneficial for our soul.
Being comfortably alone is another language that we should constantly be brushing up on and indulging within. As for when we become more fluent in its beauty we too can communicate its wonders and our high spirits with others.
Plus, those clouds in the blue afternoon sky don’t stay around for long and that ever growing to do list with all fun things we are just itching to do definitely needs our TLC and attention.