Solitary

These stories and photos from around the world, discuss and explore the theme of solitary.

Photo Story 1

It took about six hours to reach this point, the deserts of Western Egypt. This man stands alone, miles from everywhere and apart from the group, in solitude. But he is still connected. He looks at his phone, he reads a message. With new technology we become caught in a new web of solitary communication, a new way to be alone, but connected. Solitary but very much in company.

Photo Story 2

This shot is in Siwa, on the Egyptian border with Libya. It is a tourist place and it is crowded with people waiting to see the sunset. They order drinks, take pictures, chatter. This man has stepped away from the crowd, he is surrounded by other people, but somehow very much alone. He has created a solitary space in which to think, escape or perhaps communicate with an idea or something that the rest of us cannot see. He reaches to the horizon, Finds his connection there.

Photo Story 3

The patterns in which people congregate. A group forms. People join together, becomes something bigger, but one man walks behind. He holds himself apart, is left a little out of the group. The others are laughing and he looks down, thinking of something else. The others welcome him, but he is already a little apart.

Photo Story 4

In Nicaragua in a the Northern Mountains, in an area called Miraflor. People here have lives which are both solitary and communal by nature. They live in small communities, each house separated by the land they own, quite apart from their neighbours. They live in the solitude of the mountains, dirt tracks, cows for company, long walks to their fields.  Yet, families are large and many people squeeze into each house. Mothers, fathers, grandmothers, children and their children, squashed together in their homes, pulled together by community life, meetings, solidarity.  They struggle to keep secrets from neighbours while they rely on them for support.  This little girl represents that story. Sitting on a bench by the road, she watches other people pass by, two boys are talking and some cocks start to fight. She sits apart from the events, watching, connected to them, but not quite part of them.

Photo Story 5

 

One final picture. Back to Egypt where a dancer is performing. On stage the band plays, on the other side the audience watch. He spins in his robes between them, around and around and around. Caught in his long scarfs and his wide dresses, he turns. He is surrounded by people, but in his dance he is solitary. All eyes are on him as he performs, but there is no connection. Alone on stage he seems so distant, with his colours and his dance, he is in another place, and everyone else can only watch.

One thing which I notice, seeing these photos and these people together, in different places, in different countries, is that they all know what it means to be solitary. They are united even in their solitude. It is an inherently human emotion and even alone, we are connected to people we do not know, to a world which goes beyond us, which is bigger than us.

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10 Comments

  1. I am so glad to have found you. I love the depth with which you examine people. I love what you have to say. It moves me to tears, and that doesn’t happen often. I am very solitary and really connected with these pictures. I love the internet because I have many wonderful friends through wordpress, yet it still allows me the space I need at this time of my life. Thank you Catriona. You’re doing wonderful work.

    Like

    1. Hi Yaz,

      Thank you for your kind comment – I was really touched by your words. I am so happy that what I shared also connected with you.

      I just read your story on your about page and was really moved by your experiences/reflections. I related to much of what you wrote about dark times and finding a way out of those places.

      I am happy to have made this connection with you too and look forward to communicating more in the future.

      Like

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