The one logical day of the week, Wednesday, is the one I need to keep free. I need at least one day when nothing is scheduled, when I am free to contemplate, to experiment with new thoughts, to do exactly what I want. I love quiet. Sometimes when I’m in the car and turn off the radio, it is startling and wonderful. I fall into the silence the way you would into a soft bed.
I’m awed by people who go off alone to cabins or retreats for days at a time, but that doesn’t work with my lifestyle right now. Yet having even one day a week of time by myself works. I don’t meditate, though I think I should, but walking is a kind of meditation for me.
In Solitude, A Return to the Self, Anthony Storr writes, “Removing oneself voluntarily from one’s habitual environment promotes contact with those inner depths of being which elude one in day-to-day life.”
He also quotes other people: “We must reserve a little back-shop, all our own, entirely free, wherein to establish our true liberty and principle retreat and solitude.” (Rene Montaigne)
“Conversation enriches the soul, but solitude is the school of genius.” (Edward Gibbon)
Too much solitude can be unhealthy, but not enough can be worse.