The Power of Solitude

Solitude is independence.
– Hermann Hesse


When you acknowledge the integrity of your solitude,
and settle into its mystery, your relationships with others take on a new
warmth, adventure and wonder.
– John O’Donohue


In solitude the mind gains strength and learns to lean upon itself.
– Laurence Sterne


One can be instructed in society; one is inspired only in solitude.
– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

New York City, USA
Loneliness expresses the pain of being alone;
solitude expresses the glory of being alone.
– Paul Tillich

Tibetan Pilgrim



It is good to be solitary, for solitude is difficult;
that something is difficult must be a reason the more for us to do it.
– Rainer Maria Rilke


The more powerful and original a mind,
the more it will incline towards the religion of solitude.
– Aldous Huxley

Sri Lanka

Solitude is strength; to depend on the presence of the crowd is weakness.
The man who needs a mob to nerve him is much more alone than he imagines.
– Paul Brunton

United States

Whosoever is delighted in solitude is either a wild beast or a god.
– Aristotle


There is a fellowship more quiet even than solitude,
and which, rightly understood, is solitude made perfect.
– Robert Louis Stevenson


Since the time of St. Jerome, it was mandatory for any kind of scholar or thinker
to spend time out in the desert in solitude. It’s no coincidence that the desert has been
a major part of the visionary or mystical experience from the beginning of time.
– Bill Viola

New Zealand

The monotony and solitude of a quiet life stimulates the creative mind.
– Albert Einstein

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By Steve McCurry

Steve McCurry has been one of the most iconic voices in contemporary photography for more than thirty years, with scores of magazine and book covers, over a dozen books, and countless exhibitions around the world to his name.

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53 replies on “The Power of Solitude”

Beautiful images as always. I do love that many of the photos include animals. I think their quiet acceptance and unconditional love can bring an almost spiritual component to solitude. I know they do that for me. The quotes you have chosen accompany your photos perfectly. Thank you for another wonderful share!

Thanks to sharing. Wonderful! A beautiful italian song describe very good Solitude. Songwriter Fabrizio DeAndre’. Search by Title “Anime Salve” – “Saved Souls”. Click on

This is one of your best posts. Perhaps I think this, because I so much appreciate my solitude now that I am in my autumn years. Thank you for this wonderful inspiration.

Solitude beautifully illustrated with the most outstanding images. Thank you again Stevebhai
The best thinking has been done in solitude. The worst has been done in turmoil.

Beautifully done.

Another comment referenced the animals in many of the pictures. It struck me how interesting it would be to see a series that shows people with their dogs, cats, or horses.

I cherish my solitude. I don’t understand people who must be constantly jabbering or being around others. These are the ones who like to dictate what others do, and that is NOT right. Love your posts and the photos as well!

Only Steve could come up with so many different frames that define solitude. Its not just an inspiration, but an eye-opener, in a world of chaos, to the universe of solitude

Magnifique série. En regardant avec attention ces photos, nous pouvons avoir la sensation d’être le personnage dans la photo, dans un fantastique décor. Merci.

As a person who has spent a great deal of time in solitude, I found this series of photos particularly interesting. As usual I was moved by the images and the collection of accompanying quotes. But I was surprised by how many of the images included animals along with the “solitary” human beings. Surely animals are good company, and their presence makes a difference to our solitariness. I could imagine a different series of photos that had people who were alone without animals…that might be equally interesting. Thanks, Steve.

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