Bookmark #360

Happiness was sitting by yourself at brunch hours in a place people rarely frequent. The more you did it, the more it all made sense, the more you understood the poets, the artists, the lonely. The gifts of loneliness were sweet, but like all things, you had to moderate your indulgence. The act of being a living, breathing human merely existing in this world today was nothing short of conducting an orchestra. In days filled with the this and that of the every day, it was necessary to remember: even though every player, every instrument has a part, the music is made by the silence.

This preference for solitude was a muscle trained through hard work. Like all things in life, you had to cultivate it. If we isolated ourselves too quickly, too soon, too often, we risked losing the very thing we wanted to protect. Sitting with ourselves, talking at length with the voices in our heads, was no easy undertaking. Some took a lifetime getting even a smidge better at it, and most lost themselves in the attempt. The trick was to remember when to step out of your mind, to keep in mind that while important when it interrupts the music, without the sound, the silence is deafening.

To continue to live in this absolutely jarring world was a balancing act—the hardest one of them all. It was a dance: too fast, you stepped on too many toes; too slow, you were left behind. But people have done it before, and people will do it again. These thoughts surrounded me as I sat by myself at brunch the other day. Then, I caught myself smiling about it all—I did not know why—and then, on impulse, I called a friend. I don’t yet know why I did that, but at some point, it occurred to me: it is a wonderful afternoon, the sun is pleasant still; it warrants some music.

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