The Face in a Jar by the Door

Completely in the Dark

EleanorRigby“I’ve never felt lonely,” Dad once said to me. “Solitude, sure, but not loneliness.”

He probably said this while we lived on the farm, when I was in my 20s. Heck, it could’ve even been earlier, when he gave me that advice about a high school girlfriend. Who knows?

I do know one thing.

The man was as wrong as wrong can be.

A person can have the most connected life—always consumed by “something larger than oneself,” with money, friends, travel, family and career—but never feel lonely?

Oh, no. Not on your life.

My late father, project manager par excellence, was an expert at solitude. When angry, rather than stew about it, he’d just yell. Get it out of his system. Then take off in his boat and go fishing.

I think early in life he quickly learned to deal with upsets by cultivating solitude—something…

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