Solitude is often necessary for our sanity. Man’s ongoing suffering often enters our circle of awareness and tries to hijack our emotional wellbeing. It is vital that we deliberately seek happiness; we must spend time quietly reflecting on and strategising how we can turn our thoughts into progressive actions.
Many of us are often overwhelmed by the dreadfulness that continuously tries to kidnap our peace and happiness. Our small population often seems to thrive upon pain. It is troubling to often have to comfort children who experience hurt too early, wipe the tears of women who wear their pain on their shoulders and be an anchor for the men who are drowning but are often too afraid to admit it.
When we consider our country’s suicide rate, it is clear that we are people in pain and that mental suffering is not given the priority it should be. Just this week, we witnessed the sentencing of a mother to prison for 98 years for killing her two children. She had also attempted to take her own life. Many have noted and are outraged that she received no psychiatric evaluation. Mental illness can no doubt be likened to a prison and unfortunately the symptoms of those prisoners when trapped are sometimes evil.
When week after week in the news there are cases of violence that too often result in murders, we cannot deny the damage. When enemies are made through treachery and selfishness and we are fighting each other, the society is fragmented, and the people are stressed and it is evident that there is need for healing.
Within the last few months, I have penned my thoughts about the murders of young women, the disrespect women encounter daily in this country, the sexual and physical violence, the madness of men who are trapped by their need to control those around them, who refuse to show vulnerability, men who have been killed under mysterious circumstances and children who have been hurt in unthinkable ways.
All these experiences can greatly harm us. Every day we read, listen or watch the news, the newest tragedies remind us of the old ones and the cycle continues to try to sentence us to incessant suffering
It is for such reasons that we must often seek solitude and in seeking solitude make deliberate efforts to be in control of how we are affected by the madness we often cannot prevent from entering our psyche. And not only seek solitude but deliberately seek out beautiful and uplifting experiences. These are reasons the arts are so important in helping to maintain the balance in any society as well as providing escape and relief.
We must spend time on self-preservation, not only by taking care of our physical, but our overall wellbeing. Seeking ways in which we can advance ourselves as human beings can distract from the ongoing devastation. Activities outside the structure of work and study can make big differences in our lives. If we are not conscious enough to preserve ourselves, the madness of this society can slowly kill us from the inside out.
A walk to the seawalls early in the morning, with the coolness of the wind and the sound of the waves roaring, feels like Mother Nature is wrapping her arms around us. It is a beautiful experience.
In the quiet before the day becomes busy, watching the sun rise can set in motion a beautiful day. Many people indulge in prayers immediately after they wake. Some meditate. Others simply spend time thinking about the day ahead. There are also those who do not stop to listen to the quiet or observe their surroundings but are constantly on the move. It is important to stop, listen and observe, because if we do not we can meet life’s end without ever realising our greatness.
For those who live in Georgetown or its environs, taking time to visit the Promenade or Botanical Gardens, to sit under the trees to read a book or listen to some music or simply to calm our minds, are experiences that can also help to deal with or overcome challenges.
Wherever we are in Guyana, there are many opportunities to be one with nature. The creek, river or ocean waters and waterfalls are there for us to bask in their coolness and relax our minds. There are acres of lands for recreational activities that can help to keep us fit and healthy.
For those who have never ventured into places like the Rupununi or experienced the rainforests, there is a whole side of Guyana where they are missing out on beautiful experiences. If many of us take time away to venture to such places and for a while ditch the technology that has taken over our lives—the devices that are constantly updating us on events in our troubled world—we can often find healing and be inspired to change for the better.
Sometimes in our journey, as we seek that peace, solitude and direction, we meet people who leave a lasting impression on us. We often are not looking for such persons, but they are placed along our journey for a purpose. To teach us lessons or to challenge us.
Beautiful experiences with unfamiliar people are experiences that have often helped me to see a new side and meaning to my purpose. Sometimes the people around us have exhausted us or have no new suggestions for how we can move forward, but often a stranger is that eye or voice we need for reassurance.
Like wise old women. Hands rough from time, wrinkled skin with mazes created by the lines on their faces, they are reminders of how time changes us and that it is wasted on vanity for our outward beauty changes with time, but our hearts can remain unchanged.
The grey eyes and hair of old men ready to ‘meet their maker’ remind us that we have no control over the end. That no matter our class, colour or creed, once our lives expires, physically we cease to exist and for a time the only evidence of our existence are the memories of those who knew us.
Time wasted is never regained. Life is meant to be enjoyed and not be directed by tragedy. There are many opportunities for escape even if it is for a short time. In this society, we need to find as many escapes as often as we can and still remain present. Solitude, control, beautiful experiences and messengers can enrich our lives, they can remind us of who we are, of our purpose and how to achieve.