BEAUTY LIKES NEGLECTED PLACES
Only in solitude can you discover a sense of your own beauty. The Divine Artist sent no-one here without the depth and light of divine beauty. This beauty is frequently concealed behind the dull facade of routine. Only in your solitude will you come upon your own beauty. In Connemara, where there are a lot of fishing villages, there is a phrase which says: 'is fanach an áit a gheobfá gliomach,' i.e. It is in the unexpected or neglected place that you will find the lobster. In the neglected crevices and corners of your evaded solitude, you will find the treasure that you have always sought elsewhere. Ezra Pound said something similar about beauty; beauty likes to keep away from the public glare. It likes to find a neglected or abandoned place, for it knows that it is only here it will meet the kind of light that respects its shape, dignity and nature. There is a deep beauty within each person. Modern culture is obsessed with cosmetic perfection. Beauty is standardized; it has become another product for sale. In its sense, beauty is the illumination of your soul.
There is a lantern in the soul which makes your solitude luminous. Solitude need not remain lonely. It can awaken to its luminous warmth. The soul redeems and transfigures everything because the soul is the divine space. When you inhabit your solitude fully and experience its outer extremes of isolation and abandonment, you will find at its heart there is neither loneliness nor emptiness but intimacy and shelter. In your solitude you are frequently nearer to the heart of belonging and kinship than you are in your social life or public world. At this level, memory is the great friend of solitude. The harvest of memory opens when solitude is ripe. This is captured succintly by Wordsworth in his response to the memory of the daffodils: 'Oft when on my couch I lie / In vacen or in pensive mood / They flash upon that inward eye / Which is the bliss of solitude.'
Your persona, beliefs and role are in reality a technique or strategy for getting through the daily routine. When you are on your own, or when you wake in the middle of the night, the real knowing within you can surface. You come to feel the secret equilibrium of your soul. When you travel the inner distance and reach the divine, the outer distance vanishes. Ironically, your trusth in your inner belonging radically alters your outer belonging. Unless you find belonging in your solitude, your external longing remains needy and driven.
There is a wonderful welcome within. Meister Eckhart illuminates this point. He says that there is a place in the soul that neither space nor time nor flesh can touch. This is the eternal place within us. It would be a lovely gift to your self to go there often – to be nourished, strengthened and renewede. The deepest things that you need are not elsewhere. They are here and now in that circle of your own soul. Real friendship and holiness enables a person to frequently visit the hearth of his solitude; this benediction invites an approach to others in their blessedness.