Weekly Photo Challenge: Solitary

I just read the weekly photo challenge article over at the Daily Post on WordPress.com.

This week the subject is ‘solitary’, and the suggestion is to share a photo that evokes the idea of ‘solitary’ to each person joining the challenge.

The photo that illustrates the challenge is of a woman in the Hagia Sofia in Istanbul. It immediately made me think of a photo I took at the Western Wall in Jerusalem.

I have stood at the Wall, thinking about whether there is a God to whom one might be praying, or whether one is alone, solitary.

solitary |ˈsäləˌterē|
done or existing alone: I live a pretty solitary life | tigers are essentially solitary.
• (of a place) secluded or isolated: solitary farmsteads.
• [ attrib. often with negative ] single; only: we have not a solitary shred of evidence to go on.
• (of a bird, mammal, or insect) living alone or in pairs, esp. in contrast to related social forms: a solitary wasp.
• (of a flower or other part) borne singly.
noun ( pl. solitaries )
1 a recluse or hermit.
2 informal short for solitary confinement.
solitarily |-rəlē|adverb,
solitariness noun
ORIGIN Middle English: from Latin solitarius, from solus ‘alone.’


  1. Jeni · September 22, 2012

    Interesting word origin … solus > alone, yet solace > comfort. I imagine a visitor to the West Wall probably experiences both.


    • David Bennett · September 22, 2012

      Yes, comfort is so important.

      It’s not such a long way from standing erect to bowing just a little to rest one’s head on the Wall – it’s bend or break.


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  8. Rahul Ranjan · September 22, 2012

    She is solitary and praying to god for a companoin or may be she is spending some time with god to kill her solitude.


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  11. Madhu · September 22, 2012

    Love your entry David! Your words add meaning to the stark image. Would love to visit Jerusalem someday.


    • David Bennett · September 22, 2012

      Thanks, Madhu. I debated with myself whether to put those words. Glad you liked it.


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  14. elspethc · September 23, 2012

    To be by oneself – an opportunity I think: Who am I? You put it well with an interesting picture too. Thanks for the follow


    • David Bennett · September 23, 2012

      Thank you. Yes, I am interested in how deep personal identification goes: It’s a wide topic.


  15. Rebekah · September 23, 2012

    Powerful image, David … and your words certainly added to it. Eternal question, perhaps, but one day we’ll know.


  17. Maria · September 24, 2012

    I am enthralled – lighting, composition, colors and I believe you’ve hit the challenge head-on. Can’t stop looking.


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  19. eof737 · September 26, 2012

    Profound… and a great shot. I was told once that you can feel the power of centuries of prayer at the Wall in Jerusalem… that it is palpable… I wonder and would love to visit some day. 🙂


    • David Bennett · September 26, 2012

      I hope you take the chance to visit and find out for yourself.

      Thanks for the comment about the photo. 🙂


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