The Nice Thing About Strangers

Creative Non-Fiction Short Stories. :) Travel, Oldsters, Love, and Compassion.

A Happy and Beautiful Solitude (For Now)

I felt happy and grateful and kept thinking an old thought: I wished that all my friends who I love so much could see and feel what I see and feel today. But I know they never will. On this earth the experience of great beauty always remains mysteriously linked with the experiences of great loneliness. This reminds me again that there is still a beauty I have not seen yet: the beauty that does not create loneliness but unity.

–Henri Nouwen. The Genesee Diary.

Trogir, Croatia

Trogir, Croatia

15 comments on “A Happy and Beautiful Solitude (For Now)

  1. kimberlyharding
    April 3, 2015

    Can so relate to this.

    • This really stood out to me. I think it’s because I always seem to travel alone, but there are all of these beautiful things I want to share, but many get lost in translation. 🙂

      • kimberlyharding
        April 3, 2015

        They really do get lost in the translation, don’t they? I had not thought of it in those terms, but you are certainly right.

  2. kiwiskan
    April 3, 2015

    I agree – there’s something about solitude that allows your soul to soar…

  3. evelyneholingue
    April 3, 2015

    When you get to witness beauty with other people, even strangers, this feeling of unity can be reached. I remember climbing in Yosemite and sharing that with other climbers at the top. Great quote, Paige.

  4. Leya
    April 3, 2015

    A quote I can relate to – totally. Walking in the woods or in the mountains I always want to be alone. There’s no way of getting that feeling if you are not alone, and speaking is impossible. Afterwards, though, I can enjoy talking about experiences we have in common.

    • Ah, this is a lovely way to put it, Leya. Perhaps quiet in the moment so one can reflect, and then there’s a delight in commiseration. So often on my trips, I just walk. I walk and see what happens in front of me, how I interact with the people I encounter, but we each have our own interpretation of these experiences. The little details I see may not be what you see–but this is why I like to see your photographs and attempt to bridge that gap! 🙂

      • Leya
        April 4, 2015

        You are so good with words. The details you see, maybe I don’t see, but you show me them and I can “recognize them”. So, we both look for details, but perhaps often not the same ones. Joint experiences in a different way.

  5. hughcurtler
    April 3, 2015

    I disagree that great beauty can only be experienced alone. That is simply false. The experience of great beauty is often increased when experienced with another.

    • But are we experiencing it in the same way? So often when I am with others, we may watch the same scene and take away different conclusions. We’re limited to what we can communicate. 🙂

      • Of course, Hugh, I almost always travel alone, so perhaps that’s why this quotation stood out to me. 🙂

  6. davecenker
    April 3, 2015

    I have SO felt this on many occasions. Alas, if I had the choice between experiencing something spectacular alone, or missing it altogether, I would still always choose to experience it alone. After all, we still have words and pictures to help convey the emotion of the experience. And the way you are able to do that Paige, reading about it is almost as good as being there 😉

  7. joannerambling
    April 4, 2015

    Oh yeah

  8. M-R
    April 4, 2015

    That is a sentiment with which I wholeheartedly concur, Paige.
    And your photos are beautiful.

  9. Pingback: Friday Five, Volume 91 | Mere Observations

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