This quote is part of Silver Threading’s author’s quote series. Authors who have helped inspire my writing. To write one must engage with the world around. Imagination is not the everything, imagination needs feeding with experience and observation Life is what feeds writers.
This quote is so well known it is groaned at. Declared cliched, and over quoted. Did Donne have any idea how many centuries his poetry and writings would last, would be read, would still record the truth of life.
I have Dyspraxia and although the term hadn’t been invented when I went to school, the problems were still there. I was clumsy, slow to process, disliked noise and touch. I had an inability to read body language and lacked basic social skills. I had no way of happily accepting the social life that humans are born to. A born victim and the bullies spotted me a mile away. Primary school cemented my notion that I hated people and I could without them. What I desired from life was to
Live on a desert island,
A mountain top
Failing all those hide in a book!
It took me a many decades before I could consider I was reasonably comfortable with others, many years before I could declare I wasn’t shy or awkward any more. My father spent many hours over the years convincing me to persevere, although he just thought I was clumsy and shy. Neither parent guessed at the host of other problems. I found ways around them, it was people I couldn’t find the key for. I managed during this time against all odds to make and somehow maintain a friendship, she contributed so much to my social development it cannot be measured.
I doubt I was reading Donne before my late teens, heady stuff for primary school. My father might have had it in mind as he explained how good most people were, explained about life being inherently unfair but inherently exciting and it was in part due to people, he was the one who explained the oddities, the irrationality of folk. He loved people, and they loved him. I would watch and try and copy him. Try to work out what he was doing.
By the time I left home packed my suitcase and took off to see the world I was almost there, by the time I came back having met such a myriad of different folk , cultures, history, religion I was there. I had discovered the world, all the people in it endlessly fascinating I had also made a more good friends; I consider my self very lucky in them. They have added so much to my enjoyment for life.
Although when very tired I still hanker for that cave, I know after a rest from humanity, I will hasten back because Donne was right, mankind belongs to each other.