Waiting near the Well


Solitude itself is a way of waiting for the inaudible and the invisible to make itself felt. And that is why solitude is never static and never hopeless

May Sarton

Post-Covid-19 breathlessness has somewhat increased my present solitude as I lack energy to tackle grocery shopping, or to eat much anyway, or to engage with ordinary human encounters – though I’d love a big warm hug right now!

Yet there is fine company to be enjoyed in a library populated by other solitary souls. ‘Virtual friendships’ and connections existed long before the advent of the world-wide web. And many the seeming disadvantage that offers gifts hidden just beneath the surface – many the refreshing pail to be drawn from the well at home on a quiet day.

This afternoon I’ve had my thirst quenched again ‘From May Sarton’s Well’ and by Hartmut Rosa’s ‘Resonance.’ In a world in which (regrettable) acceleration seems to be the aim and the way in all things, Rosa proposes not deceleration as a governing balance but resonance instead. And though there’ll be a lot more to be said about a work with which I’m taking my time, the proposal already resonates with me!

May Sarton proffers solitude as ‘a way of waiting for the inaudible and the invisible to make itself felt.’ And I find myself having a bit of time to apply both Rosa and Sarton’s notions to the ways we relate to each other – and the ways we feel about what can’t immediately be seen or spoken. In frustration, sometimes, we err on the side of either acceleration or deceleration in our encounters – be we artist or scientist, carer, caterer or consumer, educator, engineer, fabricator, lawyer, lover, medic, musician, parent, politician or retailer. How would it be for us if we afforded more attention to resonance, to vibration, to a being able to tune into resonating wavelength?

Solitude. Resonance. Waiting for the inaudible and the invisible to make itself felt. I intuit that such a way of living – even dreaming, perhaps – will prove worth the wait and the always growing sense of hope and of wonder at the well.


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