Thursday, 20 October 2011

Cherish Your Solitude

Eve Ensler
“Cherish your solitude. Take trains by yourself to places you have never been. Sleep out alone under the stars. Learn how to drive a stick shift. Go so far away that you stop being afraid of not coming back. Say no when you don’t want to do something. Say yes if your instincts are strong, even if everyone around you disagrees. Decide whether you want to be liked or admired. Decide if fitting in is more important than finding out what you’re doing here. Believe in kissing.”
― Eve Ensler

I found this quote scribbled on a scrap of paper whilst clearing out the crap yesterday, and it's reminded me of lots of things I hadn't thought of in a while.... like long train journeys through the beautiful English countryside, and also more difficult moments in my (past) life, when I was deeply uncomfortable with being alone. I say past, as I NEVER have time to myself any more, which, whilst being something I could never dream of doing without - my children and my husband have saved me from losing my way completely - can also be quite tough at times and can be accompanied by very conflicting (and often unnecessary) feelings of guilt and so never entirely alone really.

Last night Jude and I watched American, the Bill Hicks story which not only reminded me of what a great comic he was, but also how strongly he believed in himself and what he HAD to do. He didn't set out to be admired, he just knew he had to tell the truth, even when his own country in particular didn't want to hear it. And so he was (is) admired all the more for it. He was pretty outrageous, but he was funny and spot on with his world-view, and it's a shame there aren't more people in the public eye who are willing to say what they really think.

So now, I wish I could have offered this quote to my younger self - and watched more Bill Hicks before he died. It takes so long to learn how to live each day to its fullness, and to have faith in yourself and your heart.

We went walking on Common Moor last weekend, hence all the pics of horses. It was the first in a long time that I have stood still and been unable to hear any human sound. Although not quite complete wilderness, it did feel good to stand between sky and earth with no distractions. It would have been a good place to have slept out under the stars.

 ...the next time we go I'll take some replacement batteries for the sodding camera and get the photos I wanted to take of the perfect place to camp: next to a lake in an abandoned quarry.... beautiful!


  1. ahh the bliss of solitude! So fitting that you write this whilst being stranded at home with two little ones!! I went for a solo walk last night at dusk, down the lanes and over the fields, it does feel so good to be alone sometimes and so be in silence, such a rarity in my days! If its not my kids chattering away, its my whirring brain! Brilliant quote, i particularly like the "decide whether you want to be liked or admired" so true..I am such a sucker for wanting folk to like me that I do and say things that go against my "true" beliefs. anyways, see ya soon bird x

  2. I just love this quote, I unearthed it during the great tidyup that's been ongoing for the last few weeks.... I used to travel a lot by train, and I really miss that solitude of travelling through the countryside alone, and I would always have an urge to just leap onto any train to keep going on.... and never did. At the same time I used to hate being by myself like if I was alone in a house, whereas now I positively crave it some days! I wish I'd felt more able to be in whatever moment I was when I was younger.... if that makes sense!

  3. Wonderful quote, and beautiful pictures! I must admit I'm a bit afraid of horses, but your photos make them look so soft and approachable. I never went to Common Moor when I was in England, but I'm putting it on my mental list for my return trip, whenever that may be. I'm not familiar with Bill Hicks, but now I'm curious to learn more about him.

  4. Glad you like the pics! I know what you mean about horses, I feel the same way about cows, which is totally irrational as a) we live on a farm full of them and b) if you say 'boo' to them they would run a mile.... Common Moor is just outside Bodmin in Cornwall, the real moorland is a bit further away, but it's all beautiful. The wild horses are just amazing.

    And Bill, what can i say, you'll either think he's funnier than anything on the planet (as I do) or find him really crude and distasteful... but he'd still be funny. Watch 'Relentless' if you can: that's the film of him doing stand-up in the UK, and where the audience was really with him.


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