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Quotations about Solitude

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I shut the door behind me. At once, I felt better. There is something fundamental in the desire to have a door to close, sealing out the rest of the world. ~Abby Geni, The Lightkeepers, 2016

Man loves company even if it is only that of a small burning candle. ~Georg Christoph Lichtenberg (1742–1799)

My hope that I would have a whole series of empty days, days without interruption, days in which to think and laze, (for creation depends as much on laziness as on hard work), was, of course, impossible. ~May Sarton, 1976 January 8th [Exactly. Never a moment to ourselves! –tg]

I never found the companion that was so companionable as solitude. We are for the most part more lonely when we go abroad among men than when we stay in our chambers. ~Henry David Thoreau, "Solitude," Walden, 1854

Our language has wisely sensed the two sides of being alone. It has created the word "loneliness" to express the pain of being alone. And it has created the word "solitude" to express the glory of being alone. ~Paul Johannes Tillich, The Eternal Now

There are days when solitude is a heady wine that intoxicates you with freedom, others when it is a bitter tonic, and still others when it is a poison that makes you beat your head against the wall. ~Colette

For it may be said, in general, that every man will love or hate solitude — in other words, his own society — just in proportion as he is worth anything in himself. ~Arthur Schopenhauer (1788–1860), "The Ages of Life," Aphorismen zur Lebensweisheit, translated by T. Bailey Saunders, 1891

I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. ~Henry David Thoreau, 1854

When the superficial wearies me, it wearies me so much that I need an abyss in order to rest. ~Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W.S. Merwin

In a soulmate we find not company but a completed solitude. ~Robert Brault,

I think that I cannot preserve my health and spirits, unless I spend four hours a day at least — and it is commonly more than that — sauntering through the woods and over the hills and fields, absolutely free from all worldly engagements. ~Henry David Thoreau

We live in a very tense society. We are pulled apart... and we all need to learn how to pull ourselves together.... I think that at least part of the answer lies in solitude. ~Helen Hayes

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 hearts. ~K.T. Jong

Never be afraid to sit awhile and think. ~Lorraine Hansberry, A Raisin in the Sun

By all means use sometimes to be alone. Salute thyself; see what thy soul doth wear. ~George Herbert

Only in quiet waters things mirror themselves undistorted. Only in a quiet mind is adequate perception of the world. ~Hans Margolius, Aphorismen zur Ethik, translated from German  [Information on the web regarding Herrn Margolius is extremely sparse, so in response to inquiries I'm glad to provide a short author bio here. Hans Adolph Manfred Margolius was a German philosopher born in Krotoschin, Provinz Posen on September 12th 1902. In the 1930s he was a librarian in Berlin and then a lecturer at the Lehrhaus, a center for Jewish learning, before emigrating to the United States of America in 1939. He died on December 29th 1984 in Miami, Florida. —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]

But on the first day came veiled spirits from all hours into his soul... a soft intoxication, which the atmosphere of nature, like that of a wine-store, communicated to him, spread itself, like an enchanted solitude around his soul. ~Jean Paul Friedrich Richter, Hesperus, or Forty-Five Dog-Post-Days: A Biography, translated from German by Charles T. Brooks, 1865

There is a charm in Solitude that cheers
A feeling that the world knows nothing of
A green delight the wounded mind endears
After the hustling world is broken off...
~John Clare (1793–1864)

Towards evening, they wound down precipices, black with forests of cypress, pine and cedar, into a glen so savage and secluded, that, if Solitude ever had local habitation, this might have been "her place of dearest residence." ~Ann Radcliffe, The Mysteries of Udolpho, 1794

Solitude shows us what should be; society shows us what we are. ~Robert Cecil

The great omission in American life is solitude; not loneliness, for this is an alienation that thrives most in the midst of crowds, but that zone of time and space, free from the outside pressures, which is the incubator of the spirit. ~Marya Mannes

In solitude, where we are least alone. ~George Gordon, Lord Byron, Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage

Inside myself is a place where I live all alone, and that’s where I renew my springs that never dry up. ~Pearl Buck

What a commentary on civilization, when being alone is being suspect; when one has to apologize for it, make excuses, hide the fact that one practices it — like a secret vice. ~Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Finding solitude in the concrete jungle is powerful and peaceful. ~Mike Dolan, @HawaiianLife

A large, still book is a piece of quietness, succulent and nourishing in a noisy world, which I approach and imbibe with "a sort of greedy enjoyment," as Marcel Proust said of those rooms of his old home whose air was "saturated with the bouquet of silence." ~Holbrook Jackson

Walking in silence was nice... Being with you, it's a lot like being alone. ~Hayes Davenport and Alena Smith, "There's a certain Slant of light," Dickinson, 2019  #infj  [S1, E8, Ben Newton to Emily. And he meant that in a good way! Probably something only introverts would take as a compliment. —tg]

With some people solitariness is an escape not from others but from themselves. For they see in the eyes of others only a reflection of themselves. ~Eric Hoffer

There is something in the nature of silence which affects me deeply. Why it is I know not; but I do know that I love to be alone at such an hour as this. I love to forget the outward world and hold communion with the beings of the mind. ~Charles Lanman, "Musings," 1840

Solitude appeared to me as the only fit state of man. ~Walter Benjamin

When we cannot bear to be alone, it means we do not properly value the only companion we will have from birth to death — ourselves. ~Eda LeShan

A lyric touch of the solitude... ~Bliss Carman, "The Joys of the Road," Songs from Vagabondia, 1894

No matter how reclusive we tend to be, we picture the after-life as a community of souls. It is one thing to seek privacy in this life; it is another to face eternity alone. ~Robert Brault,

I’m not anti-social. I’m pro-solitude. ~Author unknown

There are many youths, and some men, who most earnestly devote themselves to solitary studies, from the mere love of the pursuit. ~James G. Percival, c.1822

The reason old souls enjoy spending time alone is because they never really are. ~Author unknown

I have a great deal of company in the house, especially in the morning when nobody calls. ~Henry David Thoreau

Solitude coaxes magical things from our souls. ~Terri Guillemets

I am alone in the world, and yet not alone enough
to make every hour holy...
~Rainer Maria Rilke, Book of Hours (Das Stunden-Buch), translated from German

Solitude never hurt anyone. Emily Dickinson lived alone, and she wrote some of the most beautiful poetry the world has ever known... then went crazy as a loon. ~Matt Groening, The Simpsons, spoken by the character Lisa Simpson

The happiest of all lives is a busy solitude. ~Voltaire

Reading well is one of the great pleasures that solitude can afford you. ~Harold Bloom

True solitude is a din of birdsong, seething leaves, whirling colors, or a clamor of tracks in the snow. ~Edward Hoagland

No man should go through life without once experiencing healthy, even bored solitude in the wilderness, finding himself depending solely on himself and thereby learning his true and hidden strength. ~Jack Kerouac

We visit others as a matter of social obligation. How long has it been since we have visited with ourselves? ~Morris Adler

There are days when you seek the company of your solitude, and your solitude just wants to be left alone. ~Robert Brault,

Loneliness can be conquered only by those who can bear solitude. ~Paul Tillich

Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where Nature may heal and cheer and give strength to body and soul alike. ~John Muir, The Yosemite

Nowhere can man find a quieter or more untroubled retreat than in his own soul. ~Marcus Aurelius

...I got fascinated by silence; by what happens to the human spirit, to identity and personality when the talking stops, when you press the off button, when you venture out into that enormous emptiness. ~Sara Maitland, How to Be Alone, 2014  [I've put this on the Solitude page rather than Silence, because in this portion of her book it feels more solitude'ish to me. Maitland has actually been criticized for not distinguishing better between the two, but she also explains more about this in the book. —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]

It seemed to be a necessary ritual that he should prepare himself for sleep by meditating under the solemnity of the night sky... a mysterious transaction between the infinity of the soul and the infinity of the universe. ~Victor Hugo

There is a privacy about it which no other season gives you.... In spring, summer and fall people sort of have an open season on each other; only in the winter, in the country, can you have longer, quiet stretches when you can savor belonging to yourself. ~Ruth Stout

Solitude is a form of meditation. ~Terri Guillemets

You will not find a soulmate in the quiet of your room. You must go to a noisy place and look in the quiet corners. ~Robert Brault,

I owe my solitude to other people. ~Alan Watts

I would rather sit on a pumpkin and have it all to myself than be crowded on a velvet cushion. I would rather ride on earth in an ox cart, with a free circulation, than go to heaven in the fancy car of an excursion train and breathe a malaria all the way. ~Henry David Thoreau, Walden: Or, Life in the Woods, "Economy"

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