Monday, August 31, 2009




Loneliness is marked by a sense of isolation.

Solitude, on the other hand, is a state
of being alone without being lonely
and can lead to self-awareness.

As the world spins faster and faster—or maybe
it just seems that way when an email can travel
around the world in fractions of a second-
we mortals need a variety of ways
to cope with the resulting pressures.
We need to maintain some semblance of
balance and some sense that we are
steering the ship of our life.
Otherwise we feel overloaded,
overreact to minor annoyances and feel like
we can never catch up. As far as I'm concerned,
one of the best ways is by seeking,
and enjoying, solitude.
That said, there is an important distinction
to be established right off the bat.

There is a world of difference between
solitude and loneliness, though the two terms
are often used interchangeably.
From the outside, solitude and loneliness
look a lot alike. Both are characterized
by solitariness. But all resemblance
ends at the surface.

Loneliness is a negative state,
marked by a sense of isolation. One feels that
something is missing. It is possible to be
with people and still feel lonely—
perhaps the most bitter form of loneliness.

Solitude is the state of being alone
without being lonely. It is a positive and
constructive state of engagement with oneself.
Solitude is desirable, a state of being alone
where you provide yourself wonderful
and sufficient company.

Solitude is a time that can be used
for reflection, inner searching or growth
or enjoyment of some kind.
Deep reading requires solitude,
so does experiencing the beauty of nature.
Thinking and creativity usually do too.
Solitude suggests peacefulness stemming from
a state of inner richness.
It is a means of enjoying the quiet
and whatever it brings that is satisfying
and from which we draw sustenance.
It is something we cultivate.
Solitude is refreshing; an opportunity to
renew ourselves.
In other words, it replenishes us.

Loneliness is harsh, punishment,
a deficiency state, a state of discontent
marked by a sense of estrangement,
an awareness of excess aloneness.
Solitude is something you choose.
Loneliness is imposed on you by others.

We all need periods of solitude,
although temperamentally we probably
differ in the amount of solitude we need.
Some solitude is essential;
it gives us time to explore and know ourselves.
It is the necessary counterpoint to intimacy,
what allows us to have a self worthy of sharing.
Solitude gives us a chance to regain perspective.
It renews us for the challenges of life.
It allows us to get (back) into the position
of driving our own lives, rather than having
them run by schedules and demands from without.
Solitude restores body and mind.
Lonelinesss depletes them.

Hara Estroff Marano
Psychology Today, July 01, 2003

Conversation enriches the understanding,
but solitude is the school of genius.
Sir Edward Gibbon
18th Century British Historian
Author of The History of the
Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire

Sunday, August 30, 2009



My Lord God,
I have no idea where I am going

I do not see the road ahead of me.
I cannot know for certain where it will end.

Nor do I really know myself,
And the fact that I think I am following
your will does not mean that I am
actually doing so.

But I believe that the desire to please
you does in fact please you.
And I hope that I have that desire in all
that I am doing.
And I know that if I do this, you
will lead me by the right road
though I may know nothing about it.

Therefore will I trust you always
though I may seem to be lost
and in the shadow of death, I will
not fear, for you are ever with me
and you will never leave me
to face my perils alone.

thomas merton

Friday, August 21, 2009



"Deal Has Wealthy Running Scared"

the headline proclaimed.
Swiss bank account secrecy has been a fact
since the middle ages. But a new deal between
America and Switzerland is getting signed.
The landscape, so says a tax lawyer in Washington,
is permanently changed. The names of thousands of
Americans who are hiding personal assets
in Swiss banks are going to be released
to U.S. authorities.
I'm sure most of the tax dodgers in this
category would swear they're loyal Americans.
Bullshit. They aren't, they're traitors.
In this day and age even the snotty
little privileged shits have to carry their own weight,
and pay the piper the cost of citizenship.
So do all the congressmen (and ladies) who got paid off,
and the crooked defense and road paving contractors,
and the..., and nauseum.
Yes, I know, a lot of the money will simply get up and
move to Southeast Asia, or the Bermuda Triangle,
or any number of places that want fat-cat cash
and don't ask a lot of questions.
But it's a start in the right direction.
Tax cheats who have it but hoard it
aren't worth a tinker's damn.
May the IRS succeed beyond their wildest dreams;
may God's wrath fall upon the heads of the scammers.
God Bless the IRS!

Friday, August 14, 2009




O Pachacamac!
Thou who has existed from the beginning,
Thou who shall exist until the end,
powerful but merciful,
Who didst create man by saying,"Let man be,"
Who defends us from evil,
and preserves our life and our health,
art Thou in the sky or upon the earth?
In the clouds or in the deeps?
Hear the voice of him who implores Thee,
and grant him his petitions.
Give us life everlasting,
preserve us, and accept this our sacrifice.
Below is a 2:43 slideshow titled
"Land of the Inca."