How many more calculations must be made to be free of belief in miracles when sunlight falls with such graceful abandon? Lip-biting onlookers have not awakened to shout their derisions to fools who still remain lost in the dregs of bad vodka. Scolding mothers have not found anything to pray upon. Wonders wander around centers of being long forgotten. A daughter cries for attention in the loneliest corner. Dry compassion waits for those less well-fed. A donkey-rider enters the city claiming to possess the secret of being in relationship with God and neighbor.
(Found Poem in Michel de Montainge’s “Of Solitude” translated by George B. Ives)
Let us answer on behalf of ambition who gives us a taste for solitude. It is not that the wise man can not live content everywhere, aye, and alone, in the throng of a palace. But we do not always intelligently seek the pathway to this end. (Often we think that we have abandoned affairs when we have only changed them.) Consequently, because we are quit of the court and the marketplace, we are not quit of the chief torments of our life. Ambition, avarice, irresolution, fear, and all greedy desires, do not desert us when we change our abiding-place. (Socrates was told that a certain person had not changed for the better in his travels. "I must believe it," said he, "for he carried himself with him.") We carry our fetters with us; it is not complete liberty; we still turn our eyes toward what we have left; our thoughts are full of it.