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Quotes on the benefits of quiet, solitary reflection to connect with oneself

"What we do during our working hours determines what we have; what we do during our leisure hours determines what we are."
Philanthropist George Eastman, quoted in the Buffalo Law Journal, quoted in The Week, June 14, 2013, p. 19.

"When you stop thinking about yourself all the time, a certain sense of repose overtakes you."
Leonard Cohen, quoted in the Montreal Gazette, quoted in The Week, Dec. 21, 2012, p. 15.

"What solitary icebergs we are, Miss Vinrace! How little we can communicate!"
Virginia Woolf. The Voyage Out (1915).

"Silence is the cornerstone of character."
Ohhiyesa, Santee Sioux. Quoted in Sharon Franquemont. You Already Know What to Do: 10 Invitations to the Intuitive Life. New York: Jeremy P. Tarcher/Putnam, 2000. p. 117.

”Like most deadly attractive people, he had a hollow at the center of him. What people loved most about her husband was how mellifluous their own voices sounded when they echoed back.”
Lauren Groff. Fates and Furies. New York: Riverhead, 2015.

”And why does the nightmare described by the Internet, of encountering people who look and sound real but are fake, remind you so much of the feeling of reading the Internet itself?”
Kristin Dombek. The Selfishness of Others: An Essay on the Fear of Narcissism. FSG Originals, 2016.

"Noise is an imposition on sanity, and we live in very noisy times."
Joan Baez, quoted in the Toronto Star, quoted in The Week, May 18, 2012, p. 19.

With that epiphany [that someone might hurt me because they don't understand me] comes the shock of realizing that there is an inside and an outside, and the artist is outside. Not by will. By blood. By a force beyond understanding, no more mutable than the fact that one breathes. A shock. The knowledge that one is alone in the world. Alone in mind, in mission if not in flesh. All alone, neither able to answer to any boss besides oneself nor willing. Forever alone, a thrill and an awesome responsibility. And life from then on is a party of one.”
Anneli Rufus. Party of One: The Loner's Manifesto. Da Capo Press, 2003. p. 119.

"There are a variety of ways to descend into desolation. Some people drift hither and thither slowly like autumn leaves, only half aware that they are lifeless and at the beck and call of the winds. Others plummet like frostbitten apples, bruising their flesh against every passing branch and knocking themselves senseless as they hit the ground. Others again are like chestnuts for whom a fall is a revelation. At the moment of impact the spiked shell breaks open and ejects a new shimmering kidney brown self."
Nina FitzPatrick. Daimons. Boston: Justin, Charles & Co, 2003. pp. 44-45.

"Remember, loneliness is still time spent with the world."
Poet Ocean Vuong, quoted in, quoted in The Week, Jan. 13, 2017, p. 17.

"I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out until sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in."
John Muir, quoted in Kay Redfield Jamison, Exuberance: The Passion for Life. New York: Vintage Books, 2004. p. 24.


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