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Lionel Fisher

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Celebrating Time Alone: Stories of Splendid Solitude
by Lionel Fisher   

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Publisher:  Beyond Words Publishing ISBN-10:  1582700494 Type: 


Copyright:  Jul 9 2001

Barnes &
Celebrating Time Alone
Powell's Books

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."

Professional Reviews

Not Just for Singletons
I am happily married and hope to be together with my significant other into eternity. Still, I connected with many of the truths and personal stories that Lionel Fisher has woven through this book. I had some initial misgivings about the central theme ("Is this guy trying to talk us all out of pairing up?"). But I found that what Fisher and his subjects say about the importance of learning to live with oneself and love oneself first (and best) rings equally true in marriage as in aloneness. Most of all, this book delivers a reassuring message: that being alone -- whether by choice or by circumstance -- isn't something to be feared. It's what we choose to make of our solitude that matters.

I Wish I Had This Book When I Was Younger
Reading this book earlier in my life would have saved me a lot of agony over being alone. There were so many stories about how people being alone have made their aloneness into a monument of who they are. To read their stories was so incredibly inspiring and because of the stories in this book I have to whole different perspectives of my own aloneness. Lionel Fisher has such a way of grabbing hold of a reader! I just couldn't put down the book! His humor and sensitivity are captivating. I found myself chuckling several times. Several times I felt like crying for the person in a story. I think I ran the gamut of emotions. His book was like watching a fantastic movie you never want to end. Mostly the book inspired me to make the most of my aloneness. Whenever I question it I'll re-read one of the real-life stories in his book.

Wonderful Stories
The stories contained in the pages of this book are a true gift -- many thanks to the author and the courageous people he interviewed for their hard-won insights into the joys and challenges of solitude. When reading passage after passage I found myself saying, "Yes. Exactly!" In our harried times, where solitude and reflection sometimes seem to be avoided at all costs, it's comforting to hear the voices of people whose thoughts resonate so deeply with my own and who have struggled with the same issues.

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