The Comfort of Solitude

It is only when we silent the blaring sounds
of our daily existence that we can finally
hear the whispers of truth that life
reveals to us, as it stands knocking
on the doorsteps of our heart.
~K.T. Jong~

You haven’t heard from me in a week because a nasty cold  came knocking on my door last Friday, took up residence in my body, draining me of all my energy reserves, and leaving me feeling like crap!  It still lingers, but I am happy to report that my energy level is rising each day,  I can stay in the upright position for long stretches of time, and can participate in life outside my door, no longing fearing I will contaminate anyone who comes near me.  In the last week I have spent many hours on the sofa, curled up under a blanket with a box of kleenex by my side, trying to keep my eyes open for any length of time.  And, if I had to find something good about having a hellish cold, this would be it – a forced solitude.   I inhabited a zone of time and space, free from the pressures of having to accomplish anything.  Part of that time was spent with my ‘friends’ David and John.  I devoured Anam Cara, the John O’Donohue book I wrote about in my last post, and I listened to a brilliant podcast interview with David Whyte.  Because I wasn’t in a rush to do the next thing, I was able to let their words and wisdom seep into a deeper place within me. I was able to embrace the silence and find a lost part of me that was emerging from the solitude.  No doubt I will be sharing more of their wisdom with you in the following weeks, but today I want to share this poem by David Whyte because it teaches me to trust the invisible elements that form us – the ones that show up in stillness, the ones that lead us to the true shape of our own self.


We shape our self
to fit this world

and by the world
are shaped again.

The visible
and the invisible

working together
in common cause,

to produce
the miraculous.

I am thinking of the way
the intangible air

passed at speed
round a shaped wing

holds our weight.

So we, in this life

to those elements
we have yet to see

or imagine
and look for the true

shape of our own self,
by forming it well

to the great
intangibles about us.

(Written for the presentation of The Collier Trophy to The Boeing Company marking the introduction of the new 777 passenger jet.)

Silent solitude makes true speech possible
and personal.  If I am not in touch with my
true belovedness, then I cannot touch the
sacredness of others.  If I am estranged
from myself, I am likewise
a stranger from others.
~Brennan Manning~ 


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3 Responses to The Comfort of Solitude

  1. Betsy says:

    Glad you are feeling better!!

  2. suellen1234 says:

    Thanks. It’s a beautiful spring-like day and I plan to get outside to enjoy it!

  3. I loved the last poem where it says something like if I’m not in touch with my true belovedness, then i cannot touch the sacredness of others. It always starts on the inside, doesn’t it?
    glad you’re coming back to yourself. love you!

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