Though I have spent most of my life alone, I have not been lonely. Having been abandoned by my parents at age seven, cut adrift, denied both roots and destination, unable to find my way back to anything familiar, I have grew accustomed to my own company. I  found a way back, a way forward, on my own. It was not to avoid hurt that I became alone; it was to accept mastery over my own destiny, however that might unfold.

Before words coalesced into sentences, sentences melded into paragraphs, and paragraphs emerged into pages, and the urge to write arose in me, reading taught me how to be alone. Finding solace in my own company, I was not lonely on my own.

Freedom does not fear isolation. I was free as I was able to withdraw from others, feeling no need whatsoever for their care, their celebrity, their charm, their companionship, their company, their compassion, their concern, their conversation, their curiosity. I was free, because in silence and in solitude, I found serenity rather than loneliness. In being alone, I learned fearlessness; I learned to heal myself, to heal another. In the comfort of my seclusion, I was released from confining attachment to others; I came to know my true inviolability, my unerring vulnerability, my unassailable insuperability.

Those with the courage and the strength to stand alone, fight alone. Battles, either won or lost, replace struggle. Every battle won is an affirmation of life, of freedom earned, an obstacle overcome, a step forward. Every battle lost is a lesson learned; not a retreat, but a respite, time to re-hone one’s weapons, to re-gird oneself, to make ready for renewed battle.

When in dread, delusion, doubt, all the sacred wisdom of all the ages will but confound. Once undaunted, receptive, enlightened, one word alone disentangles everything – Believe. Belief is always an individual choice, a personal decision, a singular commitment.

Eventually, one will end up exactly where one needs to be, either alone or with another, exactly as is meant to be, doing exactly what one should be doing. The path to this eventual fulfilment is punctuated by preference, by selection. Correct choices shorten that path; incorrect choices lengthen it.  All along, if you know what you are looking for, you will know what you will find.

If another is to share your path for a time, short or long, true togetherness will be found only with someone else who wants as much as you to be alone.

A writer needs three things – exile, solitude, and cunning.