'Of course you can be preoccupied for a good deal of the time with your work, and find it really does take your mind off yourself. Even so you can hardly help but have some leisure; and what is to fill that? Well, a whole heap of interests, to keep your time and your hands and your thoughts busy, yes, and your emotions too. But what then? You come home to yourself again: the embers are cold in the grate, and the house is empty.
Friends then: friends are the answer. There must be folk who whom you know and love, and who know and love you? Yes they are the next possibility on the list, certainly. But what Archbishop Lang once wrote has stuck in my mind ever since I first read it: something to the effect that in the loneliness of his bachelor life his great need was not for friends, of whom he had plenty, any more than it was for work, of which he had too much; it was for "that old simple human thing - someone in daily nearness to love." And that is precisely it. Just as at some point you left both work and hobbies behind, so you leave your friends, too, at the garden gate; and you're still going to be on your own in the house tonight. And brother, it's so lonely...'
Alex Davidson, The Returns of Love, p.16.