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Celebrating Time Alone
In a world that goes around in twos or more and conditions us to seek our happiness, our fulfillment, our answers, our very identity in others, this book eloquently affirms that we first must find it in ourselves -- something we can only do alone.
Being alone, whether by circumstance or choice, is not tragic. What is tragic, and so wasteful of the preciousness of life, is that too many of us think we are nothing alone. This book affirms that it's all right to be alone, to want to be alone, even to be lonely at times because the rewards of solitude can make the deprivations so worthwhile.
In a writing style both eloquent and down-to-earth, the author interweaves his reflections on solitude, brought into sharp focus during six years spent by himself on a remote Pacific Northwest beach, with the insights and experiences of men and women he found on a cross-country journey in search of the "new hermits," men and women who have stretched the envelope of their aloneness to Waldenesque proportions as well as their urban counterparts who, through necessity or choice, prefer to savor their individuality in smaller servings.
"It scares us more than anything except death. Being alone. Our fear of aloneness is so ingrained that given the choice of being by ourselves or being with others, we opt for safety in numbers, even at the expense of lingering in painful, boring or totally unredeeming company. And yet more of us than ever are alone...."
"Look in the mirror, the god of solitude teaches. You will see the only eyes that matter, the only eyes that truly appreciate and understand you. In them, you will find all the respect and approval, all the love and esteem that you desire. Then everything you receive from others will come as a gift, not a need. And you will know, at last, that far from the price, solitude is the prize that time alone can give you."