benefit speaks

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“The world gave me many things, but the only thing I ever kept was absolute solitude.”

-Dulce Maria Loynez, Absolute Solitude

In the busy bodies of modern humans, you will find many cluttered minds. Wade deeper into the rising tide of the millennial mind, resist the pull of digital distraction and you will find a sliver of longing. Small and made of negative space like the eye of a needle, soft as an echo, this little longing looks for real connection.

Locating and listening to this longing may sound tough, but the true challenge lies in deciphering its request. In a culture where connection may be an epidemic, we must learn the difference between connecting with a pixelated person and a tangible one. Sometimes connecting with others requires a reconnection with oneself. Enter the Benefit Street Stroll I took myself on this past weekend…

I am a lover of solitude. There are few things I can’t do alone, and in fact, I often prefer it this way. Recently, though, I have found myself longing for some company, reaching for a hand when the cobblestones snag my shoe.

Instead, I got an afternoon of connection with the city I love. I stumbled upon a tour of the Stephen Hopkins house, a pocket of Providence history ripe with rebellious stories and shadows of the past. I tucked myself into the Athenaeum, searched for Georges Sand, got to know Walt Whitman, and filled several pages of my journal, reflecting on just how much can change in a year. Or two. Or three. I took the time to notice the colors of the homes matching the blushing autumn sky. I sifted through the crackling confetti fallen from trees that will too soon be sleeved in snow.

I decided to learn what I already knew: You are never truly alone, if you can listen when your city speaks to you.

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