I think that directing is the ultimate martyred task of filmmaking, that it has nobility to it. It takes three years to make a film, for the most part. I think it requires the attentiveness of a mother hen.
So the problem for the poetic artist or the photographer is the common problem of continuous attentiveness, continuous attempts to notice what he is noticing, continuous alertness to catch himself thinking or seeing, devotional attentiveness to the world he's moving through.
Being present, whether with children, with friends, or even with oneself, is hard work. But isn't this attentiveness - the feeling that someone is trying to think about us - something we want more than praise?
The fruit of solitude is increased sensitivity and compassion for others. There comes a new freedom to be with people. There is new attentiveness to their needs, new responsiveness to their hurts. Thomas Merton observes, 'It is in deep solitude that I find the gentleness with which I can truly love my brothers. The more solitary I am the more affection I have for them.... Solitude and silence teach me to love my brothers for what they are, not for what they say.