Contents Contact

Woman standing on porch platform at end of Long House.


And by it we enter solitude, in which also we lose loneliness.
Only discord can come of the attempt to share solitude.
True solitude is found in wild places, where one is without human obligation.
One’s inner voices become audible. One feels the attraction of one’s most
   intimate sources.
In consequence, one responds more clearly to other lives. The more coherent one
   becomes within oneself as a creature, the more fully one enters into
   the communion of all creatures.

Wendell Berry (1977/90)


Loss Sun setting down a river. On loss as necessary to change.
Loneliness Solitude Wholeness: a progression from desolation to joy. A well trodden path which seems to form a spine for our lives: concepts often adduced as we wend our way on inner journeys. Man on horse looking back. Solitude, loneliness and communion are constant aspects of our evolving lives.
Solitude is pivotal. Pointing one way to isolation and implosion; and the other way to self knowledge, communion and integration. Berry links this cross roads to wild places; A corner of Loch Skeen with White Coomb rising behind it. On the need for places where we can regain lost roots. to silence, The view from Trowgrain Middle of snow, cairn, clouds and distant hills. Silence as absence of the noise in our heads.

and undemanding presence.

This is Section V of Berry’s poem Healing reprinted on page 11 of his book What are People For? Counterpoint, Berkeley.

The tree could be seen on the road near Tweedsmuir in southern Scotland. The picture is a little misleading as the tree actually had a small companion which has been ‘subtracted’, but it seems so connected to the clouds that it fits the bill, rather in the same way as we still respect Thoreau for his solitude even as we learn that his mother did his washing, and gatherings in his house regularly numbered 14 people from the local town less than two miles away.

Above, hovering on blue introduces a link: click to go, move away to stay.


Saturday 15th April 2023

Murphy on duty to this site