What type of exile should we choose? What types of exile are chosen for us?
In Colonial America, Roger Williams and Anne Hutchinson chose banishment from Massachusetts rather than renounce their views on how best to communicate with God. They went to the wilderness of Rhode Island.
When I was young, I hung out often at a punk rock club called The Jockey Club in Newport, Kentucky. This was a kind of “soft exile.” I wanted to be with people more like myself if just for a few hours.
In the 19th Century, the black American actor Ira Aldridge went to Europe because he could not find roles in the United States.
In Ancient Rome, exile from Rome was a punishment one could receive.
To what extent does each of us withdraw just to get through the day?
Can exile serve as a creative force beyond simply serving as a device for sanity?
I’d say yes.
Artists often have what are termed as “retreats.”
Martin Luther King wrote his Letter From A Birmingham Jail while in a type of forced exile.
I don’t think I could fully trust anyone who, for whatever reasons, does not seek some level of exile from this world.
Ideally, exile serves ultimately as a path to finding a way to be more strongly engaged with the world.