Thursday, June 7, 2012

Obstacle Course of Solitude

(Because my life is neither complex nor poetic enough to be a labyrinth of solitude)

I've been in Maine, alone and writing, for almost two weeks now.  It's been a productive time--two chapters just about drafted (my mantra: I only need a solid first draft, I only need a solid first draft...).  I find that I like the solitude in some ways--I forgot what it's like to be able to start work late and still be productive, or to lose momentum at mid-day and be able to pick work back up when my "second wind" comes at around 4 p.m.  Normally, by 4 or 5 I have to pack up work and tend to children, dinner, and other such domestic tasks.  I've enjoyed not having to listen to constant sibling rivalry.  I can eat when I want, walk when I want.

But, it's also lonely.  No snuggles with Anya.  No story time or bedtime rituals with the kids.  No jokes with Samuel.  No coffee date with Howard.  No one to talk to at dinner.  I spend my days in a cycle of activities:

1) There is, of course, my morning walk.  Finally found a good loop to take each day.

2) There is writing--at this desk, which is starting to feel like good work space.  Notice the many kid drawings to keep me company.

3) Caffeine is the call of the day.  There is:
Coffee in the morning.

Espresso on most afternoons.
(I know, the mug isn't as good as the Cuencana one in Quincy)

And, of course, tea when I feel like it.
(Note how each type of caffeinated beverage has to have its own special mug).

4) There are novels to be read once my brain can't function on academic mode any more.

5) NPR is my new best friend.  (I mean, I listen a lot when the family is around, but now it's really my only companion.)

6) I've taken to watching the grass grow tall again after all the rain.

7) And, of course, into every night must come a bubble bath.

What are your patterns of solitude?


  1. Watching a really, really, really bad movie after everyone has gone to sleep. Or episodes of really, really, really bad tv. Or, some kind of craptastic book. In other words, I love to expand my mind in solitude.

  2. I don't have alot of solitude.....except gardening.....