“People are drawn to the easy and to the easiest side of the easy. But it is clear that we must hold ourselves to the difficult, as is true for everything alive. Everything in nature grows and defends itself in its own way and against all opposition, straining from within and at any price to become distinctively itself. It is good to be solitary, because solitude is difficult, and that a thing is difficult must be even more of a reason for us to undertake it.”

Rainer Maria Rilke

“You can be lonely anywhere, but there is a particular flavour to the loneliness that comes from living in a city, surrounded by millions of people. One might think this state was antithetical to urban living, to the massed presence of other human beings, and yet mere physical proximity is not enough to dispel a sense of internal isolation. It’s possible – easy, even – to feel desolate and unfrequented in oneself while living cheek by jowl with others. Cities can be lonely places, and in admitting this we see that loneliness doesn’t necessarily require physical solitude, but rather an absence or paucity of connection, closeness, kinship: an inability, for one reason or another, to find as much intimacy as is desired. Unhappy, as the dictionary has it, as a result of being without the companionship of others. Hardly any wonder, then, that it can reach its apotheosis in a crowd.”

Olivia Laing

In the infinite aloneness there are three exquisite tools to use. Use them abundantly. At any time of day. Or night.

Poetry put the solitary soul into words:
May Sarton – Canticle 6 (read by Maria Popova)
Tanya Davis – How To Be Alone (video by Andea Dorfman)

Philosophy understand the solitary soul:
Epicurus’ Cure for Unhappiness
Solitude and Self-Realization: Why You Should Spend More Time Alone

Music is the ultimate expression of the solitary soul:
Max Richter – On Reflection
Arvo Pärt – Für Alina (performed by Jeroen Van Veen)