If this worked out, our relationship would redeem all the lazy cruelties that had come before: in the light of something that proved so right, I could look back and justify everything else as a necessary prelude, like Elizabeth Gilbert and the dashing Brazilian guy. But if there was no trusting rest to look forward to, no shelter to hope for, what were these years in the desert for? — Gideon Lewis-Kraus, A Sense of Direction, p. 193.
Michael Cobb would argue that the “years in the desert” are in and of themselves the point. In his book Single, he devotes a significant amount of text to the (literal) desert as a place to connect with the universal, away from civilization and the confines of couplehood. His thesis brings to mind kundalini yoga, and Nietzsche, and his own example of Ralph Ellison’s The Invisible Man.