A recent period of enforced solitude brought me back to thoughts of centering, introspection, sleep, dreams and the link to creativity.
Completing numerous year-end business tasks, and developing plans for the new year, left little time for quiet, introspective solitude during the past six weeks. My writing and Zentangle practice had been ignored. Finally, the universe forced solitude upon me in the form of flu symptoms that require horizontal quietness, sleep and dreams. During lucid moments, reading was an option.
In some of those half-asleep/half awake lucid dream moments, my mind pondered the connection between solitude and creativity.
During these moments, I often return to books I've already read, finding previously underlined passages in familiar chapters my favorite authors.
SOLITUDE, A Return to the Self, by Anthony Storr gives memorable quotes which I'd underlined during a previous episode of enforced solitude. I would like to share some of them.
"The capacity to be alone thus becomes linked with self-discovery and self realization; with becoming aware of one's deepest needs feelings and impulses."
"No man ever will unfold the capacities of his own intellect who does not at least checker his life with solitude."--De Quincey
"The act of drawing sharpens the perceptions of the Draughtsman; an idea passionately advanced by Ruskin If naming things is the first creative act, as Bazin alleges, perhaps drawing is the second."
"This is not healing through insight, nor through making a new and better relationship with another person, nor even to solving particular problems, but healing by means of an interchange of attitudes."
"… Maslow realizes that the creative attitude and the ability to have peak experiences depends upon being free of other people; free, especially, from the neurotic involvements, from historical hangovers from childhood, but also free of obligations, duties, fears and hopes."
Wordsworth. "The Prelude"
“When from our better selves we have too long
Been parted by the hurrying world, and droop,
Sick of its business, of its pleasures tired,
How gracious, how benign, is solitude."