Quiet

“Solitude matters, and for some people, it’s the air they breathe.”

“Spend your free time the way you like, not the way you think you’re supposed to.”

“…do work you love and work that matters. Solve problems. make art, think deeply.”

“Don’t think of introversion as something that needs to be cured.”

“So stay true to your own nature. If you like to do things in a slow and steady way, don’t let others make you feel as if you have to race. If you enjoy depth, don’t force yourself to seek breadth. If you prefer single-tasking to multi-tasking, stick to your guns. Being relatively unmoved by rewards gives you the incalculable power to go your own way.”

“Shyness is the fear of social disapproval or humiliation, while introversion is a preference for environments that are not overstimulating. Shyness is inherently painful; introversion is not.”

“Spend your free time the way you like, not the way you think you’re supposed to. Stay home on New Year’s Eve if that’s what makes you happy. Skip the committee meeting. Cross the street to avoid making aimless chitchat with random acquaintances. Read. Cook. Run. Write a story. Make a deal with yourself that you’ll attend a set number of social events in exchange for not feeling guilty when you beg off.”

“Evangelicalism has taken the Extrovert Ideal to its logical extreme…If you don’t love Jesus out loud, then it must not be real love. It’s not enough to forge your own spiritual connection to the divine; it must be displayed publicly.”

“It’s as if they have thinner boundaries separating them from other people’s emotions and from the tragedies and cruelties of the world.”

“Now that you’re an adult, you might still feel a pang of guilt when you decline a dinner invitation in favor of a good book. Or maybe you like to eat alone in restaurants and could do without the pitying looks from fellow diners. Or you’re told that you’re “in your head too much”, a phrase that’s often deployed against the quiet and cerebral. Or maybe there’s another word for such people: thinkers.”

“What if you love knowledge for its own sake, not necessarily as a blueprint to action? What if you wish there were more, not fewer reflective types in the world?”

“Sometimes it helps to be a pretend extrovert. There will always be time to be quiet later. But in the long run, staying true to your temperament is key to finding work you love and work that matters.”

“Flow is an optimal state in which you feel totally engaged in an activity…In a state of flow, you’re neither bored nor anxious, and you don’t question your own adequacy. Hours pass without your noticing.”

 

Susan Cain, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking

Einzelgänger

Some thoughts about the Einzelgänger – the lone wolf or introvert.

Martyn V. Halm, at Quora:

“Oh, bless the Germans, who capture entire philosophical concepts in single words.

You are an Einzelgänger, which is loosely translated as ‘loner’ in English, but loner has negative connotations. Einzelgänger means ‘someone who goes alone’, meaning someone who prefers to be by himself. In our increasingly ‘social’ society, anyone who doesn’t crave company is deemed deviant, but this stigma is recent. Recluses, hermits, and people who secluded themselves in order to find spiritual or religious enlightenment were revered and honoured. Nowadays, they are regarded with suspicion…

However, history teaches us that much of our wisdom comes from people who don’t partake of society in order to think new thoughts.”

Saint Augustine:

“Men go abroad to wonder at the heights of mountains, at the huge waves of the sea, at the long courses of the rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motions of the stars, and they pass by themselves without wondering.”

See the book ‘Quiet‘ by Susan Cain.

“Thought is subversive and revolutionary, destructive and terrible, Thought is merciless to privilege, established institutions, and comfortable habit. Thought is great and swift and free.”

-Bertrand Russell

“One should respect public opinion insofar as is necessary to avoid starvation and keep out of prison, but anything that goes beyond this is voluntary submission to an unnecessary tyranny.”

– Bertrand Russell

Different ways of seeing.

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“Alfred Wainwright January 1907 – 20 January 1991) was a British fellwalker, guidebook author and illustrator. His seven-volume Pictorial Guide to the Lakeland Fells¹, published between 1955 and 1966 and consisting entirely of reproductions of his manuscript, has become the standard reference work to 214 of the fells of the English Lake District.”

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alfred_Wainwright

There’s something I really love about Wainwright’s drawings – they’re not “high art” – but meticulously observed illustrations, a vision of the place he loved.

One doesn’t have to choose of course, or make value judgements about different kinds of art. I love the work of Rothko, Paul Klee, Egon Schiele, Norman Catherine, Vilhelm Hammershøi, Andrew Wyeth. There are little known artists on Pinterest whose work resonates deeply. There are so many, many ways. Different ways of seeing, different ways to appreciate art.

1. A fell (from Old Norse fellfjall, “mountain”) is a high and barren landscape feature, such as a mountain range or moor-covered hills. The term is most often employed in Fennoscandia, the Isle of Man, parts of Northern England, and Scotland. (Wikipedia)