The religion of solitude…

good, bad, or just a matter of perspective?

DSC_7897-2The more powerful and original a mind, the more it will incline towards the religion of solitude.

Aldous Huxley

I often feel the need to justify my position of solitude over mob merriment so finding this quote brought a smile to my face. There is a part of me that feels utterly selfish when I choose not to participate in things that will take me away from my quest for discovery in our natural world.

Why is it that being enrolled in university seeking a degree or perhaps writing a thesis are excusable reasons for solitude but devoting a large portion of time to self guided study somehow makes you a recluse?

Surprisingly this summer has been one that I have enjoyed a great deal. Usually after the snow melts I find myself just passing time until it returns so that I can get back to photographing ice, crystal formations, and winterscapes but not this summer!

This summer as I immersed myself in the study of clouds I discovered that with the cirro-form clouds I could continue to photograph crystals and platelets from a great distance as they put on a show high up in the troposphere. As I shared gleefully with a friend,  now I can shoot ice crystals all year round!

My summer highlight was photographing 2 rare arcs in an image,  that was later published by Deborah Byrd as “Today’s Image” by In the process I had some fabulous conversations with people who have studied this type of phenomena for years and ones who just share my passion for water in all of its frozen forms.

On this late afternoon I made time to join an adventurous group of women whom I admire for many different reasons and it was time well spent. I appreciate that they still ask when I frequently don’t show.

True solitude is being alone without regrets and is very different from being lonely.

It’s important to know the difference

5 thoughts on “The religion of solitude…”

  1. I prefer the solitude. My release is 12-14 hour solo motorcycle rides to nowhere. Nothing centers me more than this. Love the quote.

  2. You’ve touched again on a thought process I’ve often followed; and in so doing, invited me to take a long, hard look at myself. Like you, I ”prefer my own company”, as the saying goes, and I regard social engagements as distractions in the negative sense, the sense of stealing time from more useful or creative activities. I’ve woven myself the illusion that I won’t be missed. But I have generous friends who, like yours, understand my foibles and my seeming aloofness, and welcome me anyway, when and if I show up. Your post reminds me again to attempt to be more present, and to be aware that dialogue itself can be enriching, in surprising and intangible ways.
    Your picture is lyrical, lovely.

  3. This post explains so much about you, Sheryl, and your creative spirit! I am always touched by your posts, photos, & welcome our gatherings too!

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