...was a thing of beauty, though constructed of ordinary wood. I loved its simplicity; there was nothing about its simple lines that drew attention to itself, or which distracted me from the thoughts I hoarded there, like a secret cache of jewels, while escaping my family's madness.
Perhaps beautiful only to me, my fort and I weathered the seasons, sharing an intimacy on which I would come to depend during the wilderness years of my truncated childhood. During the summer months, it became my best ally; when inclement weather kept me from it, I often gazed at it through my bedroom window, silently yearning to return to my suburban writing retreat.
Within the solitude and safety of its womb, I wrote my first stories, wept my frustrations, and breathed much more freely than ever I could within the confining walls of my family's modern home.
Loneliness, of the sort which can't easily be dispelled by the mere presence of another, drove me to the sanctuary of my fort. Heartbreak compelled me to seek it as a refuge to which I could return time and again, without reproach, or fear of over staying my welcome. The forces of evil hounding my every step propelled me high up into the safety of its walls, and a bit of me died every time I left its warm planks, never knowing how long until our next tryst.
Language has created the word loneliness to express the pain of being alone. And it has created the word solitude to express the glory of being alone.
(Paul Johannes Tillich)