By Esther Zoza

Photo: Juan Suárez

HAVANA TIMES – Yesterday, I heard one of the neighbors in my building – who I’ve only ever said hello to – say that she was fed up of being alone.

For a person who writes, overhearing a conversation can be a detonator, so I immediately got to thinking about solitude, this magical space where we can be ourselves.

Many people spend their entire lives wishing to have their own space, and when they have it, they have no idea what to do with it.  Others spend months saying they want time off work to do this or that, and when they have the time, they break down.

It’s clear that when you choose to experience loneliness, you can come out of it whenever you want. But what do you do if you become alone because of something unexpected, like what is happening during this lockdown?

Clinging to the present, not letting our minds wonder down the past or to the future, can be very helpful.  Organizing our day-to-day as a life strategy can help us to be active, creating new scenarios, which can also be beneficial, there’s no doubt about that.

How many things have we wanted to do in our lives and never had the time to do? How many times have we felt overwhelmed because of too much work, or too much social contact?  Solitude is where we can gain new energy, and take care of ourselves.

In my case, lockdown has been a way for me to do everything I’ve been meaning to at home for a while now: letting myself go with the memories on Radio Enciclopedia. I cleaned dust that had built up on top of the closet, I organized my books according to subject, I put away my winter wardrobe, I put away kitchen utensils I no longer use and polished my pots and pans.

I also dusted off my sewing machine and worked on a never-ending pile of old clothes that I wasn’t using anymore. I have read books that I’ve been meaning to read, and I have been in touch with friends.

I have been stuck in my apartment ever since March. I don’t think about the future, I just dedicate myself to living the here and now and to do it the best way I know how, and when loneliness begins to get a hold of me, I invent a song, I smile at myself or dance a little.


Esther Zoza

I was born in the 60s. I love my country and its simple and sacrificed people. I like the arts, particularly literature. In music I enjoy traditional and contemporary trova, also opera and instrumental music. I respect all religions. I like esoteric and mystical subjects; I also enjoy the enigmas of the universe. I believe above all things in God. I am persistent and disciplined to meet my goals. I like the countryside. I live near the sea. I believe in relationships and love in all its manifestations.

One thought on “When Solitude Becomes Proactive

  • A very high proportion of humans are by nature gregarious. One of the numerous problems posed by Covid 19 is isolation in particular for the older generations. Figures for suicide are almost bound to increase as a consequence. Normally in Cuba, one of the few advantages of the over-crowding is the social contact between the generations. That however is now a problem.

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