Sunday, February 24, 2008

Solitude Part One

The Fortress of Solitude. The title alone of the book keeping residence in my bag has been enough to get me thinking. I'm only a third of the way through, so my thoughts have less to do with the themes in relation to the resolution (and connections to superheroes), and more an analysis of creating said fortress, whosoever's fortress it may be, but namely mine.

So as I finish the book I'm going to do some thinking about solitude from a few different perspectives.

Though I have tried to pretend for much of my life that it's not true, I am an introvert. I am shy in large groups, quiet around new people and have minor social anxiety when I arrive to events on my own. So it makes sense that when life beats down on me a bit, I have a tendency to retreat. To my room. To my ipod. To a book. To my pen. And these things are good most of the time. And being introverted is ok. (I have to keep telling myself that I don't have to fight this part of me all the time. It's wearying.) It's when the solitude becomes a fortress that I can hide in that it becomes dangerous.

Community is such a buzz word these days, I hate to even mention it. But I'm at a point in my time in New York where my community is shifting: moving to Brooklyn, friends moving, life changing. My default mode wants to deal with these on my own, but my head is telling me that's the worst idea ever.

The main character in the book is a boy who is growing up in Brooklyn in the seventies, who almost constantly feels like an outsider. He builds an existence where he feels protected, that he alone is in control of. He does let one friend into this world, but there is a lot of darkness; to the point where I just had to stop reading last night (and it may have been two in the morning).

So basically for tonight I'm just saying, with limited elaboration, that solitude isn't always a good thing. But more thoughts to follow.

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