“The cure for loneliness is solitude.”
“If I Were Sixteen Today”*
I love my solitude. I live in my solitude. My creative ferment is most alive in my solitude. It’s why I rise at 3:00 a.m. on the weekends; I can enter the creative place in my mind and stay there without distractions to pull me out.
I love the quiet. I can hear myself think and dream and free associate. I can also hear my heartbeat, which was disturbing when I first noticed it several years ago but is now merely annoying.** (No, I do not have high blood pressure; I never have. I think my ears are — my right ear actually — just attuned to the flow of blood through nearby vessels.)
I think this is also why I prefer running alone rather than as part of a group, which I had tried for several years.
My solo trips to the cabin, while not good for actual writing, are nearly always great opportunities for ideas and problem solving. I generally come home with lots of notes. (There are distractions at the cabin, not the least of which being the itch to get out and ramble among the hills, though that is not necessarily bad for reflection.)
Of course, getting to whatever place of quiet solitude doesn’t automatically cause me to write pages and pages. Sometimes it still isn’t flowing.
*I have not read this essay.
**I have this idea that our bodies are actually very noisy places, with blood flowing, and food being digested, and glands secreting, and so on, but our brains have literally tuned these noises out beginning in the womb. Have you ever held a stethoscope to your stomach and listened? Sometimes when I lie in bed and I manage to turn off the censors (unwittingly) for brief moments I can hear all sorts of whooshing and crashing noises in my head, but as soon as I become aware of them, they go away. Tuned out.