Here is an excerpt from an excellent article in Mother Jones by incarcerated author Keith LaMar on how to best use your time alone. I found it inspiring and insightful. Hope you do too.... Being in solitary confinement is really just being thrown upon yourself: You’re running around, just like people do in regular life, and now all of a sudden you’re confronted with yourself, and find that in a lot of cases you haven’t really put anything into yourself to occupy yourself. Everything is outward directed. That’s what happened to me 27 years ago, and what happens to a lot of guys who are initially thrown into this situation—it’s like being thrown into the ocean. You have to learn how to swim. You have to learn how to deal with yourself. I’ve been lucky in a lot of ways. My cell has a bookshelf with three shelves, and there’s a table to sit and write. I have a lot of music, books to read. Not to distract myself from myself, but to take me deeper into myself. I paint, I work out, I do yoga, I meditate. That’s the thing, when you’re thrown upon yourself, you realize you are more equipped than you realized. A lot of the system keeps us from realizing our own power. It’s a good opportunity for people to tap into that. Being in solitary confinement, it’s a punishment. But people out in society, it’s an opportunity to get more in tune with themselves. Because when you’re in school, especially with the internet being what it is, everybody is generally being pulled away from themselves. The root word of education is “educe,” to bring forth that which is already there. Education isn’t really about what kind of career you’re gonna get or how you’re gonna make money. That’s not why we were born, to make money for somebody else. To get a big house. To have a nice car. You’re here to bring forth that which is already there. Hopefully people being forced to stay home outside of the mainstream curriculum are able to get a glimpse of themselves and start pulling on that thread.