Her options were schoolmistress or doctor; she accepted the latter.The Great War began soon after her graduation, and so she went to work in a military hospital.
Bone’s guards were infuriated, but she proved to be proficient in the art of being alone. A certain practice, or alchemy, that turns loneliness into solitude, blank days into blank canvases.They cut her off from the world and she exercised that art, choosing peace over madness, consolation over despair, and solitude over imprisonment. A lost little art that, year by year, fades in the bleaching light of the future.She strolled the streets of Paris and Rome and Florence and Milan; she toured the Tiergarten in Berlin and Mozart’s residence in Vienna.Later, while her feet wore a narrow furrow into the concrete beside her bed, she set out in her mind on a journey home to London.From within that enforced void she slowly, steadily, built for herself an interior world that could not be destroyed or stripped from her.
She recited poetry, for starters, translating the verses she knew by heart into each of her six languages. One, made up during those six months without light, praised the saving grace of her mind’s “dark-born magic wand.” Inspired by a prisoner she remembered from a Tolstoy story, Bone took herself on imaginary walks through all the cities she’d visited.She was generally half-starved and always isolated except when confronted by guards.Twenty-three ill-trained officers interrogated her with insults and threats — once for a 60-hour stretch.Inside headquarters, a slim man presented himself, decked in fine clothing and smooth manners.He took her into a little office and told her they knew she was a spy, an agent of the British secret service.Proving her point, she wanders out of the rose garden in search of caffeine. and was authored by University of Virginia professor Timothy D. Their research revealed that, left in our own company, most of us start to lose it after six to 15 minutes. And yet it refers to a state of mind that most of us — myself included — have learned to suppress like a dirty thought.