"Wading neck deep in a swamp, your revolver is neither use nor ornament until you have had time to clean it" Mary H. Kingsley (1897)

Parties of One

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“We are born alone, we live alone, we die alone. Only through our love and friendship can we create the illusion for the moment that we’re not alone.” Orson Wells.

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“Language… 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 Tillich.

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5 responses

  1. Lucille

    ‘By myself’ suddenly strikes me as an interesting way to express the same thing as ‘alone’ – simultaneously observant of ones apartness and standing close by in a companionable way – if that makes any sense. Looking after number 1 is usually a critical assessment of someone’s selfishness but that’s probably essential if one is going to be able to look after anyone else. I’ll stop now.

    June 7, 2010 at 10:29 pm

  2. Powerful photos and quotes … and sad.

    June 8, 2010 at 7:11 am

  3. I think some sense of separation is honest, healthy and inevitable. How we see that separation changes from moment to moment, depending on our mood and what is happening around us.
    There’s no doubt being alone can feel painful. But other times we long to revel in its luxury, especially when trapped in difficult proximity.
    As for “looking after number One”, I would have thought that underpins the injunctions both to “love your neighbour as yourself”, and “worship the gods if you wish, but first, know thyself.”
    Enough!

    June 8, 2010 at 10:24 am

  4. Jolyon

    Yes, even when I am alone I find that there is always a commentator nearby. (I am immediately aware of how this would sound to a psychiatrist!)

    June 10, 2010 at 2:08 pm

    • That internal dialogue never seems to quieten! I think it must be related in some way to the acquisition of language. It’s a powerful tool which enables us to achieve amazing tasks. But the volume control, let alone the on/off switch, is very difficult to access.

      June 10, 2010 at 3:03 pm

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