I was supposed to be wrapping my head around the full moon Friday evening when I went out for a walk at the end of the day. Instead, I found myself wrapping my head around solitude. To a large extent, those who value silence and solitude are often maligned in this society as being inept, maladjusted, and most alarming, unimportant. You're not likely to hear that the next serial killer was a gregarious extrovert who let everyone know months earlier how he was going to rape and pillage an urban mall. Nope. The news reports will fixate on how no one saw it coming, how the man was a loner, and how no one really trusted him because they never knew what he was really thinking.
A good friend of mine, a very successful college professor, said at dinner a few years ago how, if he were to find himself in prison, solitary confinement would be something he would seek. I nodded my complete understanding as his spouse just rolled her eyes.
We live in a loud and gregarious world, a world not given to thinking before acting, a world not given to the examination of consequences, a world filled with people who talk too much about too little, a world with little or no appreciation of quiet.
How many can drive to work surrounded by their own thoughts? How many need the radio going just to stay sane?
I once traveled with a fellow who is substantially extroverted. He's also quiet socially adept, so you can't pin the bull in a china shop moniker on him. However, he thrives on social interaction. He draws energy from it. He's the guy who will strike up a conversation with strangers on an airplane as an effort to pass the time.
I'm the guy with a complete arsenal of responses designed to end that unwanted conversation.
It took a few years before my traveling companion came to realize that one can be effective in social business situation without being the social butterfly. Oddly, we don't travel together all that much anymore, and I suspect he's returning to his previous misconceptions. See how I fill in the gaps of what I don't know by fabricating something from nothing? I should start a silk purse business.
So there I am, traipsing through the world of west Raleigh, glad to be alone with my thoughts, though wishing there were a little easily controlled moderation on that point, when I looked down. It wasn't there yesterday.
I know it's an overnight sensation because I walked this same path one day earlier. It sprouted and grew over night, and now the heat of the day is taking it's toil. It does not appear to have another day left in it.
It also sprouted and grew alone. Now, it dies alone. That's not a bad thing. It's just a thing, thought it's the kind of thing that makes so many sad. I wonder if it finds no company preferable to poor company, and I suspect it does, but we will never know. It has left us by now. The fairies will have to dance elsewhere.