Tom Ortega II

Posts Tagged ‘Understanding Me’

Solitude via Friends

In Life on November 3, 2011 at 9:10 am

Sometimes you read something that resounds within you so deeply, that you want to leap to your feet and utter loudly, “Yes, exactly!” It doesn’t happen to me very often, but it did today. I was reading “Solitude and Leadership” by William Deresiewicz. Here’s the part that roused my soul:

So solitude can mean introspection, it can mean the concentration of focused work, and it can mean sustained reading. All of these help you to know yourself better. But there’s one more thing I’m going to include as a form of solitude, and it will seem counterintuitive: friendship. Of course friendship is the opposite of solitude; it means being with other people. But I’m talking about one kind of friendship in particular, the deep friendship of intimate conversation. Long, uninterrupted talk with one other person. Not Skyping with three people and texting with two others at the same time while you hang out in a friend’s room listening to music and studying. That’s what Emerson meant when he said that “the soul environs itself with friends, that it may enter into a grander self-acquaintance or solitude.”

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