Monday, June 1, 2020

More quotes on solitude

"Loneliness is not death. Yet we might as well be dead when our only possibility is to be alone, because the worst aspect of loneliness is that it ends the possibility of meaningful experience by translating the inner dialogue of solitude into a monologue of desolation. As the quintessential condition of singularity, loneliness is unlike the condition of solitude, although, unless the world becomes so bleak as to be irremediable to us, we hold out the hope that we may emerge from loneliness into solitude. In solitude, we are each of us by our self, but not yet alone, because we are more or less happily occupied with our self, beside our self in a positive way, or in Arendt’s term, two-in-one. To move from loneliness to solitude is to recover the world we have lost."
— Thomas Dumm. Loneliness as a Way of Life. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2008. pp. 40-41.

...beyond strategic / activist self preservation, there’s something else to be gained here: Doing nothing teaches us how to listen. I’ve already mentioned literal listening, or Deep Listening, but this time I mean it in a broader sense. To do nothing is to hold yourself still so that you can perceive what is actually there. As Gordon Hempton, an acoustic ecologist who records natural soundscapes, put it: “Silence is not the absence of something but the presence of everything.
— Jenny Odell, "how to do nothing," Medium: Culture, 29 June 2017

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