I know I’m often not in good company when, instead of solitude I experience loneliness. But both come and go and perhaps the latter is more deeply felt in the company of people. The former: solitude, is a place I need to go to, to gather my bearings, and as Henry Miller wrote in The tropic of Cancer: “I need to be alone. I need to ponder my shame and my despair in seclusion; I need the sunshine and the paving stones of the streets without companions, without conversation, face to face with myself, with only the music of my heart for company.”
I also need that time alone to face my sorrows, my shame and my happiness. However, more and more, those moments are harder to find. We are forced to be connected at all times so as not to miss an opportunity, an e-mail, a text that might bear important new chances, or else bad news we have no time to ponder either.
When I lack that solitude for a while I lose myself and part of my identity becomes blurred. I start to lose myself in the endless chatter, my brain becoming confused as to who I am, what I want and need.
Time, is what we need, time for ourselves so we can reevaluate and go back to the noise knowing who we are.