I am fortunate to be employed in a field I truly love. But the demands made on my time, energy, and person are many. That is one reason I crave solitude.
When I drive home, some times I keep the radio off (NPR is perhaps my favorite station). But more importantly, my own mental health and emotional well-being require that I have some time that is alone and filled with quietude.
Solitude is not loneliness. Nor is it engaging in activities to numb up one’s loneliness.
Rather, solitude is the capacity to live within and among one’s self without having to turn on the radio or TV or call a friend to distract one from loneliness. Full disclosure: I have been known to do all three (but certainly not at once!)
Solitude is more than aloneness because when apartment or condo or townhouse living or one’s own TV do not assault our senses we can then enter into the inner chamber of our being.
I am writing this late in the evening and most of my neighbors are asleep as the pitter patter of the rain bookmarks the click of the keyboard. I can think, I can reflect, I can assemble these thoughts in hopefully cogent form.
Solitude also allows for creativity and one of the finest books I have read on this topic is Father Matthew Fox’s, Creativity: Where the Divine and the Human Meet. Let me quote from him briefly.
Father Fox writes that the title of his book “suggests that there is a special encounter with the Divine where creativity occurs.” (p. 4) I like that because whether or not I take the Book of Genesis literally, the creation of the world was indeed a supremely Creative Act.
“To allow creativity its appropriate place in our lives and our culture, our education and our family relationships, is to allow healing to happen at a profound level.” (p. 9) Anyone in touch with one’s own or others’ hurts and wounds knows that our planet and its wonderfully diverse peoples are in great pain and in need of much healing.
Tiny living has already brought hope to many who were either tired of renting or who could not afford to embark upon a mortgage or whose life circumstances could not be reconciled with the housing market as it is.
Therefore, tiny living is indeed a creative effort and it can allow for solitude.
If living a life that is anything but small brings undue worry, stress, or heartache, then a tiny life can help allow for the solitude and creativity that can bring about peace—within and without– and contribute perhaps in some small way to the healing of our world.