Thursday, 28 June 2018

Alone on Skye – Solitude vs Loneliness (To be continued)

These last few days on the utterly beautiful Isle of Skye have really made me start to understand the difference between loneliness and solitude.

Loneliness – a feeling that I am often unable to shake whether I am lying in my bed on my own or in a room full of family or friends. A sense of doom and unworthiness that can wash over me, if I let it, at any time of the day and in any situation. A compulsion to think the worst, that it will never end, that I will become old, and that I’ll die alone. That I must be ultimately unloveable and unworthy of company let alone love. A leaning towards over thinking, to tightening my breathing, to feel the potential threat of any experience. To feel dread, darkness and depression.

Solitude – a chosen situation, where the silence became utterly golden, filled, ironically, with birdsong and the lapping of the Sound of Sleat against the pebble shore not 10 yards from the front door of Cruard Cottage. A lone walk out across the causeway once the tide had gone out, to get closer to a seal that was basking, daily, on a small circle of rocks, in the morning sunlight. Feeling utterly at one with nature, held by the power of the natural sounds and smells, and by the feel of the earth beneath my feet. To feel the softness of the air on my face, to breath fully in and out of my whole body, to really hear the detail in the sounds of nature and to feel totally supported by the earth just as it is right now.

My current view is of a tiny island totally cut off by the sea now that the tide is in. I dream of living somewhere like this, on my own but with a few friends in a local community, maybe with good, older friends visiting now and again to share in the majesty of an island just like this. Becoming pretty much self-sufficient, growing fruit and vegetables in the fertile land that is the Sleat Peninsula, collecting eggs from chickens that I’d like to keep, every morning.

To be continued...

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