“Solitude does not necessarily mean living apart from other; rather, it means never living apart from one’s self. It is not about the absence of other people, it is about being fully present to ourselves, whether or not we are with others.”
–From “A Hidden Wholeness” by Parker Palmer
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Vocation to Solitude — To deliver oneself up, to hand oneself over, entrust oneself completely to the silence of a wide landscape of woods and hills, or sea, or desert; to sit still while the sun comes up over that land and fills its silences with light. To pray and work in the morning and to labor and rest in the afternoon, and to sit still again in meditation in the evening when night falls up on that land and when the silence fills itself with darkness and with stars… to belong completely to such silence, to let it soak into the bones, to breathe nothing but silence, to feed on silence, and to turn the very substance of life into a living and vigilant silence.
–from “Thoughts In Solitude” by Thomas Merton
(Images by flickr users Massimo Margagnoni and Ajnagraphy, adapted and used with permission via Creative Commons)