The American corporate/entertainment society has a difficult time with people who want to be alone.
“It’s abnormal to want to be alone!” we’re told. “You’re introverted and shy, anti-social and afraid of people.”
(It’s odd how the opposite is considered normal. People who always have to be the center of attention, in the middle of a crowd, their every word hung onto by the acolytes buzzing around: these people are considered not only normal, but leadership normal. Other cultures might consider them attention seeking.)
Wanting to be alone makes sense in a society where we are surrounded by constant noise and traffic. Ask any clerk in a retail store if, after an 8-hour shift of being on their feet, dealing with customers who range from polite to downright rude, they feel like going straight to a demo derby, then after that to a bar, and then onto a crowded grocery store having a midnight madness sale.
Some people will like this. We have become so accustomed to clamor and commotion in our lives that, when we do find ourselves at home, we turn on the TV to avoid any form of silence.
But others want to get away from the tumult and commotion. They want to find a place of silence where their thoughts are not drowned out by bedlam.
The artwork, Incandescence, represents such a place. It is a country field in the hills, with a well-used pathway leading through broken down fences.
(“Ah, but you’re trespassing!”
So many limitations we place upon ourselves, so many barriers to freedom and thought. This particular country area welcomed hikers.)
In such a quiet place, not only one’s ears, but one’s eyes receive rest. The grass, gently waving in the breeze, is mesmerizing, and our thoughts flow with its wave.
It is in times and places of silence that we do our best thinking because, realistically, our thoughts are distracted by noise. Those who never seek silence, who never spend time alone, who surround themselves constantly with activity and movement and buzz do not think deeply. They are unaware of their own thoughts, own ideas, own creativity, own dreams, because they do not explore them.
And that’s not normal.
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