We enter solitude, in which also we lose loneliness … True solitude is found in the wild places, where one is without human obligation. One’s inner voices become audible. One feels the attraction of one’s most intimate sources. In consequence, one responds more clearly to other lives. The more coherent one becomes within oneself as a creature, the more fully one enters into the communion of all creatures.*
We connect to an inner place of wonder, and thus we are open to recognising the spirit of wonder in the world around us.**
A rite of passage concerns itself with life-transitions that demand both inner and external preparations.
We still have many transitions in our society and culture – in education, work and relationships, but perhaps these tend to be more about external movement, lacking equal emphasis on the internal element.
Here are two rites of passage that are very valuable: solitude and opening to the other.
Imagine someone entering a great aloneness so they might hear their true voice.
And out from this, see the possibility of the initiate exploring how to open and form a place within themselves for the other: fauna and flora, the non-physical, ideas, new persons.
Some might suggest these rites are towards the never-ending quest of becoming more human.
*Wendell Berry, quoted in Maria Popova’s Brain Pickings: Wendell Berry on Solitude and Why Pride and Despair Are the Two Great Enemies of Creative Work;
**From Kelvy Bird’s Generative Scribing, concerning reflective journaling.