Link

excerpts:

"On the one hand, strengthening the self means undertaking solitary projects and learning to enjoy one’s own company. But on the other it means making great efforts to be social: building up a strong network of friends and work contacts."

———

"Living alone and being alone are hardly the same, yet the two are routinely conflated. In fact, there’s little evidence that the rise of living alone is responsible for making us lonely. Research shows that it’s the quality, not the quantity of social interactions that best predicts loneliness. What matters is not whether we live alone, but whether we feel alone."

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"There is also good evidence that people who never marry are no less content than those who do. According to research, they are significantly happier and less lonely than people who are widowed or divorced."

———

"I know where all my notebooks are. They are all over the apartment. That is the best part. I can leave them where I like and no one touches them or wants to put them away anywhere. No one sighs about books and notebooks piled up. All of the notebooks have stories half-written in them, or stray sentences in search of a home, or musings that are none of anyone’s business. If I like, I can go to one of them and add some paragraphs. I don’t have to excuse myself, explain myself, or put on a distracted writer’s look in order to get down to work. Or worry that someone has, in my absence, opened one of my notebooks and found that they don’t like the tone of what is written there."

———

"No one told me that when Saturday night came, I would long to talk to no one and wish to go to bed early, and that my only moment of pure and capricious pleasure would be taking a book to bed that was not for class the next week. Otherwise, my life as a nun is a lesson to others, a pure example of good example. It has its rewards in the morning when I wake in silence with a clear head, ready for more."

———

"Living alone means freedom, never being bored, going to bed at eight if I feel like it, feeding myself as I like, thinking, pottering and yelling at the radio without feeling a fool. I am never lonely as long as I am at home. I can decorate my house to suit my eccentricities – not everyone wants to live with 200 jugs and thousands of books. Every object in my home reminds me of one loved person or another. Knowing all my friends are dotted around, going about their business but available at the end of a phone is enough."

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"I don’t – and never have – worried about dying alone, because everyone does."

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“‘Me’ is the very best part of living alone. It’s not about selfishness, just knowing what you like and doing what you want without having to take another person into account.”

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"[O]nce you realise you’re not obligated to persuade others about your existence, it becomes a lot easier to exist."

———

"Illness is a foreign land, and you go always alone."

Text

"I thought of a high school report I did on the Belgian artist René Magritte and a quote I once read from him, something about his favorite walk being the one he took around his own bedroom. He said that he never understood the need for people to travel because all the poetry and perspective you’re ever going to get you already posses. Anaïs Nin had the same idea. We see the world as we are. So if it’s the same brain we bring with us every time we open our eyes, what’s the difference if we’re looking at an island cove or a pocket watch?"

— Sloane Crosley, “You On A Stick,” I Was Told There’d Be Cake


cf. “There’s always something that I feel I’ve missed. I should travel more, for instance. I went to Paris last fall, which was a great departure for me. I flew Air India, which in itself was quite remarkable. I had a lovely time in France and I thought, I should do this more often. But then I come home and I think, I have all of this work to do. Look at all of these books I haven’t read. Frankly, you get to a certain point in your life where you can do unusual things with your mind. So then, I think, do them.”

— Marilynne Robinson, The Art of Fiction No. 198 (interviewed by Sarah Fay), The Paris Review

(Source: shereadeverything, via unapologeticallyacanadianseal)