The process of finding solitude began, ironically enough, at a crowded craps table in Las Vegas, where I found myself isolated from others players due to my betting strategy and the amount that I was betting relative to my apparent youth. Craps players will be familiar with this dynamic -- when no one at the table will speak to you other than the dealers. There's rarely a sense of malice, only an alienation that drives me into a shell where I lose myself in my surroundings.
18 hours later, solitude found me, as I lay on a park bench waiting for the stars as dusk faded over the Utah sand dunes. As pinpricks of light began to scatter across the night sky, I imagined myself without mission or purpose, family or loved ones, home or belongings. Trying to erase the marks of our existence. I failed, of course. You can't leave yourself behind in a day. But you can find yourself alone, surrounded by rock and wind, waiting for something you didn't even realize was missing. It's a start in more ways than one. Tomorrow I take the road less traveled, and am a bit trepidatious.