Nearly everybody I know does something to try to remove herself to clear her head and to have enough time and space to think... All of us instinctively feel that something inside us is crying out for more spaciousness and stillness to offset the exhilarations of this movement and the fun and diversion of the modern world.
Older boys were allowed to beat younger ones at my 15th-century English boarding school, and every boy had to run a five-mile annual steeplechase through the sludge and rain of an October day, as horses do. We wrote poems in dead languages and recited the Lord's Prayer in Latin every Sunday night.
What I treasure most at any moment is intimacy, surprise, a sense of mystery, wit, depth and love. A handful of cherished friends offer me this, and the occasional singer or film-maker or artist. But my most reliable sources of electricity are Henry David Thoreau, Shakespeare, Melville and Emily Dickinson.