Relationships – and solitude
William Shannon writes in Silence on Fire:
Accepting the truth of my existence means accepting the relationships that life brings to me and realizing that these relationships are also gifts: gifts that come to me because I live in a particular time and place. I do not exist in isolation, but in a series of interlocking relationships which, like the gifts I possess, play a necessary role in my achieving and discovering who I am as a person. Relationships may be crippling or they may be life-sustaining. They may hinder growth or enhance it. If they are wholesome gifts, they build up community where there is a blossoming of gifts and a nurturing of life. Yet, while it is true that I do not exist in isolation, still I need some element of solitude in my life, if my contribution to community is to be anything more than superficial. In the frenetic culture in which we live, solitude is not easy to come by. We have to plan it into our lives, if it is not to slip away altogether.