As you by now know, the ideas of retreat of have been on my mind now for months. That’s an understatement, really. It’s something I’ve been pondering off and on again for years. Previously, the retreat was hidden in an urge to travel. Of course, no problems are solved by travel, as you yourself have noted, as you take your problems with you.
Instead, the idea of retreat is to ply a special sort of attention to the maladies of the soul.
“If I were to show you a swollen foot, or an inflamed hand, or some shrivelled sinews in a withered leg, you would permit me to lie quiet in one place and to apply lotions to the diseased member.b But my trouble is greater than any of these, and I cannot show it to you. The abscess, or ulcer, is deep within my breast.”
I’m looking forward to the rest of your letter.