The Loneliness of Wendell Berry
The rural prophet goes out of his way to pick fights with his natural allies.
Everyone has heard the line from Pascal: “All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.” And we assume he’s just offering us some good life advice. Put down the smartphone. Turn off the PlayStation. Spend more time with your thoughts. Drink a cup of tea, take a walk, etc.
The thing is, he doesn’t actually say, “in a room.” He says, “in his own room.” It’s an important distinction, as the rest of the passage makes clear: