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A Call for Psychic Solitude

October 30, 2015




By psychic solitude I mean

the only sounds I hear are songs

of birds and bugs and distant traffic,

trains that run along my land, occasional

planes, like the one flying now

as I write this. There are no humans

that can see me, I can see no humans,

I’m expecting no visitors; I can trust  

no interruptions, no internet;

my phone is on silent, face down, beyond

reach. I have space and freedom to get lost

in words and thoughts. Time and security

to go deep

into my cave, into

psychic solitude

where creativity emerges

from the shadows and

I begin to breathe





Your psychic solitude may differ from mine;

maybe yours has cars, not birds. That’s fine.

The point is,

however it manifests,

it’s a privilege, rare,

and as I write I become aware

of just what I’m declaring:

psychic solitude is having

“space” “freedom” “time” “security”

the most expensive words

in this American democracy;

these desires I value

are embedded in bedrock

of declarations, constitutions,

rationales for war.

It’s what we all want

and what we all need

so why is psychic solitude so hard to achieve?


And I acknowledge

I’m speaking from a place of great privilege.

I have a home and it’s not in a warzone.

I have a job and a family and my health.


And I’ll be the first to tell you I believe

in the interconnectedness of all things,

that when one person suffers we all suffer

and that we have a responsibility to each other.

Not only do I believe it, I can feel it.


So maybe it sounds


for me to say I want at times to disconnect,

or maybe I sound selfish

when I disclose I need to unplug


But I know and feel

the longer I’m plugged in

the faster my charge drains.

The longer I’m plugged in

the less energy I can give.


I need to unplug to recharge: I know

I am a better person, a better friend, a better citizen,

more giving and loving, when I have had psychic solitude.




How might all the people

in all the world be,

How might all of us breathe

more expansively

if each and every one of us

has time, space, freedom, security

all to ourselves for just a moment.

How might we all be more loving?

Even the mega-billionaires are tired.

Maybe they need psychic solitude

to feel more giving,

to exercise generosity.


And if the whole world can have that moment

Where the bombing stops, where the hatred stops,

Where the shooting and the anger and the hunger stops.

Where for one single moment

We each own

the time, space, freedom, and security

to connect within ourselves,

to recharge

until we’re ready

to reach out

to one another

fully equipped

in kindness

What a world it just might be.




So now I see,

attaining psychic solitude

is not only a privilege but a challenge

requiring making and maintaining

fiercely peaceful boundaries

even when sabotaged by military excess and

so misunderstood by codes of social access and

seeming impractical with norms of fast responses.

Regardless of these circumstances

we need to find a way

to give ourselves permission

to be kind to ourselves

for a moment, for a minute, for an hour, for a day.


So, if I tell you “no” or “not now”

it’s me being true,

and when you see the gate is closed

please don’t push your way through.

Honor the boundaries

both the spoken and the physical

Honor the boundaries

for attaining psychic silence,

where nothing is humming

but the cicadas and the cats

and nobody is hovering

but the heron and the dragonfly

and nobody is knocking on the door.

Honor the boundaries

so I/you/we can exist

for a moment

in psychic solitude.



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