Back in the early 90’s I made my annual escape from New York City and headed to the Colorado Rockies in search of true peace and quiet. In search of my self, my thoughts, by space. In a remote cabin visited only by some ground squirrels and a couple of stray dogs who came and went as they pleased, I read SOLITUDE by Anthony Storr. The text was dense but freeing.
Storr reminded me that what I was seeking did actually exist. In my youth, I had the woods and a small dog as a constant companion. As an adult that space faded away as I moved into the city and life in the theatre. The pressing desire to be one of those extroverted actors who never hesitated to take over a room was intense. Every now and then I would touch that wonderful space of true solitude but never found myself immersed in it until I got away from the city for an extended period.
The last few weeks, I’ve been feeling at odds with myself. I’ve been arguing with my best friend as she tries to make plans for my birthday and I keep telling her I don’t want to do anything. I find myself trying to come up with excuses that will make it okay to get everyone to leave me alone. Then my husband, John, sent me a link to an column by Susan Cain. When I read it, it seemed odd to experience once again that reassurance that I am not alone in my desire to be alone.