Solitude is one of those words that probably evokes a different feeling in each one of us. The «circumstance of being alone,» which is the first definition in the dictionary of the Royal Galician Academy (Real Academia Galega or RAG) is different from the «feeling evoked by that circumstance,»which is the second definition provided by RAG. And I think that what I am referring to is precisely that this «circumstance» is something each one of us deals with in any way we can, or learns to live with it in the best possible way.
This week, walking with my little dog Bimba, the one that makes me feel less alone when I feel alone, we went by one of those parks with trees that have no children’s zone, one of those parks where there are only elderly people. I’ve always liked strolling through them because there is something curious not just in the way we have of relating to one another when we grow old but also in the way we have of being alone. In this park, there were small groups of people chatting or looking at nothing in particular, and there were also people alone: some of them seemed comfortable with their solitude, taking in the evening sun, and other that perhaps had not chosen to be alone, whose circumstances perhaps led them to «have» to be alone, differing from «wanting» to be alone, at least at that moment.
And I sometimes wonder what we should learn about solitude when we have to face life because we are all alone at some moment of our existence. But who can teach us to grapple with the «feeling evoked by that circumstance»? The truth of our future is already showing us that we are more alone than ever, but we try to be alone in a different way than the elderly at the park: we who, phone in hand, look at the world through it, and they look at the world through their own eyes…I stick with them.