Sometimes I crave isolation. To escape to an island and read and ponder and write. To hear no noise except the rustling of the leaves and the lapping of gentle waves on the shore. And of course, the occasional calls of whatever local birds reside there.
Somehow, it seems righter, if you will, to be in that alone space than to be in a city filled with people striving, striving, striving to get ahead or stay ahead or as I feel in my case simply to survive.
Survivors need their islands.
I could last a while on an island. Particularly if I was in a cabin or something with a fully stocked kitchen and fully loaded library. Honestly, I need very little else. Perhaps a fan to stir the air once in a while, but that’s it.
I’m not sure exactly how long I would last – a month? Two, three months? Maybe more? (I’d love to test it!) But I know the time would come when I would once again miss sharing experiences with community. After all, what fun is reflection, introspection, study and enlightenment, without someone to share it with?
Survivors need their communities.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer talks about the pitfalls of each of these scenarios in his book, Life Together:
“One who wants fellowship without solitude plunges into the void of words and feelings, and one who seeks solitude without fellowship perishes in the abyss of vanity, self-infatuation and despair.”
Today, I seek the island; tomorrow is time enough for community.