Solitude is delicious but I miss you

Drawing of a man on a bicycle
Saul Steinberg, Portraits and Landscapes

Dear Reader,

I was listening to an interview with Zadie Smith where she briefly talked about reading a Marcus Aurelius book, Meditations, and felt struck by his incredibly personal mode of address. In the diaristic form, Aurelius was writing for no one, and his intention was to make a personal accounting, to tell the truth to himself only.

This made me think about my own experience in a year of quarantine and self-isolation.

There is a certain joy that comes from biking alone along the coast with the wind running through my hair or listening to Joni Mitchell in my bedroom on a quiet evening. It feels like a space in my mind has opened up. Maybe this is a late realisation for me but doing things just for yourself without the compulsion to perform or document and feed the experience back into the algorithm can be useful.

This solitude is delicious but I do miss being around people and hanging out with my friends just generally doing dumb things. I worry about letting some of the relationships in my life fade through neglect. It can be difficult during a global crisis, where we are supposed to be socially distanced, to remember that we do have a duty of love to each other. Even if it feels awkward and uncomfortable, I will make the attempt and reach out to care for the people around me before the year is over.

The last time I wrote to you was more than half a year ago. How have you been? I’ve missed you. Write back to me. I’d love to hear from you.


(From November 7, 2020)