Solitary. But not in the sense of being alone. Not solitary in the way Thoreau was, for example, exiling himself in order to find out where he was; not solitary in the way Jonah was, praying for deliverance in the belly of the whale. Solitary in the sense of retreat. In the sense of not having to see himself, of not having to see himself being seen by anyone else.
Solitary confinement has been used extensively, it always has. I was in prison for 44 years; it was a normal part of life - the practice of it. They put you in solitary confinement for disciplinary reasons, they put you in solitary confinement to protect you from violence or whatever, and they also put you in solitary confinement just to show you who has got the power ... It's not something new; it's just something that nobody really cared about in the past.
Repeat after me, there are the living and the dead, there are day-folk and night-folk, there are ghouls and mist-walkers, there are high hunters and the Hounds of God. Also, there are solitary types." "What are you?" asked Bod. "I," she said sternly, "am Miss Lupescu." "And what is Silas?" She hesitated. Then she said, "He is a solitary type.
Jesus walked to a solitary place to pray. He went somewhere and found a physical place. We must do the same, so the 'going to', and 'the passing through' become a beautiful imitation of our Teacher as we seek to be like Him and be with Him. 'Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house, and went off to a solitary place where he prayed.' (Mark 1:35)
David Paul Kikrpatrick
Man is, at one and the same time, a solitary being and a social being. As a solitary being, he attempts to protect his own existence and that of those who are closest to him, to satisfy his personal desires, and to develop his innate abilities. As a social being, he seeks to gain the recognition and affection of his fellow human beings, to share in their pleasures, to comfort them in their sorrows, and to improve their conditions of life.
Whereas the Xerox researcher "was eager to juggle multiple threads of work simultaneously, " the skeptical questioner viewed his own work "as an exercise in solitary, singleminded concentration." In the choices we have made, consciously or not, about how we use our computers, we have rejected the intellectual tradition of solitary, single-minded concentration, the ethic that the book bestowed on us.
And, what's more, this 'precious' body, the very same that is hooted and honked at, demeaned both in daily life as well as in ever existing form of media, harrassed, molested, raped, and, if all that wasn't enough, is forever poked and prodded and weighed and constantly wrong for eating too much, eating too little, a million details which all point to the solitary girl, to EVERY solitary girl, and say: Destroy yourself.
EMPTY POCKETS ON THIS BEAT LOSING PROFIT CAN'T GET NO SLEEP SOLITARY COMES AROUND THEY WAY WE FEEL WHEN YOU ARE OUT OF TOWN IN MY DREAMS I SEE, WHAT WE ARE MEANT TO BE WHISH YOU WOULD LET ME KNOW FOR THIS COULD BE ETERNITY ETERNITY ETERNITY NEEDING A FRIEND MAYBE WHO KNOW WHEN YOU'LL BE? SURELY I COULD BE NOW DON'T YOU NEED ME? SOLITARY COMES AROUND THE WAY YOU FEEL WHEN YOU'RE UPSIDE DOWN SOLITARY COMES AROUND THE WAY YOU FEEL WHEN YOU'RE UPSIDE DOWN IN MY DREAMS I SEE, WHAT WE ARE MEANT TO BE I WHISH YOU WOULD LET ME KNOW FOR THIS COULD BE ETERNITY ETERNITY ETERNITY IN MY DREAMS I SEE, WHAT WE ARE MEANT TO BE I WHISH YOU WOULD LET ME KNOW FOR THIS COULD BE ETERNITY ETERNITY ETERNITY
Silence comes in two varieties: One that nourishes and comforts; another that chokes, smothers, and isolates. Solitary confinement is the worst kind of imprisonment we can inflict on fellow humans, and if you are forced to keep silent about some dark secret, you live in solitary confinement. Without the bridge of communication connecting you to other human beings, you can't share your burdens, can't receive comfort, can't confirm that you still belong. Silence is the abyss that separates you from hope.
Without the book business it would be difficult or impossible for true books to find their true readers and without that solitary (and potentially subversive) alone with a book the whole razzmatazz of prizes, banquets, television spectaculars, bestseller lists, even literature courses, editors and authors, are all worthless. Unless a book finds lovers among those solitary readers, it will not live . . . or live for long.
A prisoner lived in solitary confinement for years. He saw and spoke to no one and his meals were served through an opening in the wall. One day an ant came into his cell. The man contemplated it in fascination as it crawled around the room. He held it in the palm of his hand the better to observe it, gave it a grain or two, and kept it under his tin cup at night. One day it suddenly struck him that it had taken him ten long years of solitary confinement to open his eyes to the loveliness of an ant.
Anthony de Mello
The Romantic journey was usually a solitary one. Although the Romantic poets were closely connected with one another, and some collaborated in their work, they each had a strong individual vision. Romantic poets could not continue their quests for long or sustain their vision into later life. The power of the imagination and of inspiration did not last. Whereas earlier poets had patrons who financed their writing, the tradition of patronage was not extensive in the Romantic period and poets often lacked financial and other support. Keats, Shelley and Byron all died in solitary exile from England at a young age, their work left incomplete, non-conformists to the end. This coincides with the characteristic Romantic images of the solitary heroic individual, the spiritual outcast 'alone, alone, all, all alone' like Coleridge's Ancient Mariner and John Clare's 'I'; like Shelley's Alastor, Keats's Endymion, or Byron's Manfred, who reached beyond the normal social codes and normal human limits so that 'his aspirations/Have been beyond the dwellers of the earth'. Wordsworth, who lived to be an old man, wrote poems throughout his life in which his poetic vision is stimulated by a single figure or object set against a natural background. Even his projected final masterpiece was entitled The Recluse. The solitary journey of the Romantic poet was taken up by many Victorian and twentieth-century poets, becoming almost an emblem of the individual's search for identity in an ever more confused and confusing world.