The benefits of solitude

It’s a relief to be out on the island,” Ms. Snowman, 70, said. When she’s by herself, “the wheels stop spinning.” Her time alone is restorative.

But not everyone feels the same way about solitude, and for the last two years, the pandemic has forced some version of it upon us all. We’ve seen fewer friends and spent more time at home. Some people have found themselves feeling lonelier, particularly if they were already single or living alone.

As we enter a new phase of the pandemic that’s less “wipe down your groceries” and more “welp, I guess this is our new normal,” occasional periods of isolation may be something we just fold into our lives, like digital vaccination cards or having a dedicated drawer for masks.

Whether you’re hoping for more time alone or less these days, solitude is something you can learn to appreciate.

Understanding the power of friendship |

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riendships are a powerful aid in maintaining both mental and physical health, as well as our happiness. Dee Marques explores why nurturing friends throughout our life is essential to our well-being – understand the science-backed power of friendship. 

A few weeks ago I met a 97-year-old lady and asked h

The power of friendship

GSo many of the digital devices that supposedly connect us are leaving many of us, myself included, feeling a bit lonely. Yes, it’s true that email, text messaging, and social media can be enjoyable and beneficial, and that they can spawn wonderful relationships. (I met the coauthor of my book on Twitter — really.) But although they may offer the illusion of doing so, online relationships simply cannot replace real, live, in-person connection. There’s just something special and irreplaceable about being physically present with another human being. And no, there’s not — and I can’t imagine there ever will be — an app for that.

The scientific literature offers plenty of insight on what close friends do for us.They give us confidence and bolster our sense of self, especially during tough times. They increase our sense of purpose and belonging. And they significantly influence some of our most important behaviors. Studies have found that if you have a friend who becomes obese you are 57 percent more likely to become obese; if you have a friend who quits smoking you become 36 percent less likely to start lighting

How can it be?

How can it be that he is never here?
How can it be I do not hear that voice
His presence haunts from his old ,battered chair

Though I have money and no need unbare
I feel the grief , the affect of his choice.
How can it be that he is never here?

What is the world when loss turns to despair.
When every sheet by weeping is made moist?
His presence haunts from his beloved chair

Now we learn the symbol of the hare
Unpeaceful, hunted, jugged or potted roast
How can it be that he was ever here?

Into the real we stand and long time stare
We’re begging, blaming,badgered and then gassed
His presence feints with ours in death’s own lairs

Now the world of man has long surpassed
The time we could blame God for what we‘ve missed
How can it be that He is never here?
His absence haunts , symbolic , suffered, real

Opinion | What John Donne Knew About Death Can Teach Us a Lot About Life – The New York Times

The power of John Donne’s words nearly killed a man.

It was the spring of 1623, on the morning of Ascension Day, and Donne, long a struggling poet, had finally secured for himself celebrity, fortune and a captive audience. He had been appointed dean of St. Paul’s Cathedral two years before. He was 51, slim and amply bearded, and his preaching was famous across the whole of London. His congregation — merchants, aristocrats, actors in elaborate ruffs, the whole of the city’s elite — came to his sermons. Some carried paper and ink to write down his finest passages and take them home to relish and dissect them. Donne often wept in the pulpit, in joy and in sorrow, and his audience would weep with him.

That morning he was not preaching in his own church but