September 20, 2008

Solitude and the lake.

I took my walk to work yesterday down by the lake -- Lake Mendota. That makes the walk a few blocks longer, but the lake has its mystic pull for the solitary individual, as I was and often am on my walks around Madison.

My camera took note of the other solitary figures.

The woman with a computer:

Solitude and the lake

The man with a skateboard. He's feeding the ducks, which you are not supposed to do:

Solitude and the lake

The man with headphones...

Solitude and the lake

... and the man with a book and his foot up on the railing, the man tying his shoe, the seagull on the lamppost....

Are they -- are we -- lonely?

I think about 2 of my favorite Thoreau quotes, which I wrote down long ago on this page of my "Amsterdam Notebooks":
"A man thinking or working is always alone, let him be where he will."

"Why should I be lonely? Is not our planet in the Milky Way?"
UPDATE, April 4, 2013: To think that less than a year later, I would be married! How strange. I hope all the lonely people — where do they all come from? — have, since this time in September 2008, found someone to love, as I found my own dear sweet Meade.

15 comments:

rhhardin said...

Think of all the guys as having wives.

Rich Beckman said...

You are as likely to find lonely people in those groups of people as you are seeking them from among the solitary individuals.

Palladian said...

Ah! Look at all the lonely people.

Corky Boyd said...

For all the people who condesceningly refer to this as flyover country but are afraid to walk their own streets of their unkempt and crime ridden cities, I say take another look.

Wisconsin is a beautiful state in all 4 seasons. These folks are no more alone than someone trapped in a NY City effciency reading the news of the day on their computer or walking on treadmill at a $3,500/year fitness center.

They just enjoy the fresh clean air surrounded by scenic splendor.

Corky Boyd
Sanibel FL

AlphaLiberal said...

You went the wrong direction. The terrace was full of people socializing and hanging with friends and family.

Stinger Assassin said...

Many men go fishing all their lives without knowing that it is not fish that they are after.

-Thoreau.

This was Captain Ahab's problem.

Ann Althouse said...

"You went the wrong direction."

What's "wrong" about it? Typical left-wing fear of individualism.

Trooper York said...

"Think of all the guys as having wives."

That's just mean RH.

bill said...

alone does not equal lonely.

ricpic said...

The Shame

Is it an accident that those who are alone choose the shade?
Or do they deliberately hide themselves from those who gather glad?
Deny it all they will they would quickly their aloneness put paid
To join their fellow social animals in the sun gamboling mad...
If only they were asked.

jdeeripper said...

Good thing there isn't a high bridge over the lake or else there would be bodies floating everywhere I guess.

vbspurs said...

What's "wrong" about it? Typical left-wing fear of individualism.

LOL! So true.

vbspurs said...

Nice snaps. It's just like Lakeshore Drive, which saves Chicago from being a claustrophobic cesspool.

blake said...

Every night I get the blues
The greens and yellows and chartreuses
You're still living here with me
I'd rather be lonely
...
Loneliness is happiness
It takes less than two
I confess that I digress
From it when I'm with you

Ricardo said...

"The man with a skateboard. He's feeding the ducks, which you are not supposed to do ...."

OK. So let's say that the man gets arrested for feeding the ducks, based on the photograph you took of him (probably without his permission). Would you bear any legal responsibility for his arrest? Could he sue you?