Martha Ackmann on Emily Dickinson

“Her strategies for avoiding people were many. She waited to arrive in church until everyone was seated so she could avoid conversation. She played the piano for guests, but only if they stayed in another room with a door cracked open. When delivering a letter to a friend in town, she rang the bell and ran. Forced to come downstairs to entertain a guest, she did so with an admittedly ‘sorry grace’ – irritable, reluctant, defiant. She even confessed to fleeing to avoid chores. ‘I do love to run fast,’ she said, ‘and hide away from them all.’ Her reasons for seclusion were also numerous: she disdained social chatter; she was old-fashioned; she disliked some people or found them not worth her time; socializing left her depleted; people stared; retreat was invigorating. Emily had a word for her retreats – ‘flying.'”

— Martha Ackmann on Emily Dickinson (via)