^z 21st July 2023 at 10:21am

Everybody needs someone to talk to, even (or especially!) when alone. How to make an imaginary friend? Correspondence is one way. Try an experiment: write letters — long and thoughtful ones, not just weather reports or forwarded quips — to someone far away, perhaps someone you don't know very well. If the person replies in kind, so much the better; if not, keep writing anyway, or choose another target. Paper letters are good; email can work too, if the exchange is leisurely enough to allow for reflection. (No chat rooms!)

If you're lucky, after a few weeks you start to develop an unconscious model of the remote acquaintance. You catch yourself in silent conversations ... having gentle arguments ... organizing remarks to persuade and explain ... asking questions and responding in turn. Good! Write out what you can of the discussion and use it in your letters. The model of your friend will deepen. Having a rich internal dialogue helps clarify and improve thinking on any subject — particularly on issues that are so delicate (or tough!) that they're impossible to verbalize with someone present.

Friday, November 05, 1999 at 06:16:25 (EST) = 1999-11-05


(correlates: LifeLogs, DietOfBangs, ThreadsOfHistory, ...)