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1998 watercolor, 14x17", by Chris Wayan.

a picture of a column-sitter and the words 'is solitude holy?'

When I think of Julia Butterfly up her tree, I remember those ancient hermits who sat atop columns in the desert.... and flagpole sitters. Butterfly had a clear, constructive, relatively selfless goal, but what were those earlier climbers up to?

Yet I'm like them: I climb to my upstairs room for days and just look out at the view and do art and dream... and feel happy and full.

To a point.

I'm beginning to think the spiritual benefits of both solitude and socializing are like certain vitamins--when you first take them there's a big benefit--you were starved for it--but then you taper off, get less from big doses, now that you've relieved the deficit.

Time to try other things!

The ancient mystics kept at it year after year, and a sneaky voice says they'd have loved getting in the Guinness Book of Records--the sin of pride? They'd maybe have done better to switch at some point to travel, or charity work, or falling in love, or dancing drunk all night.

And I think I'm reaching that point.

LISTS AND LINKS: overdoing it - solitude - ascetics - socializing - watercolors - pride or vanity?

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