Friday, April 22, 2011

Solitude - the abcedaria of a writer

Solitude  - I am a gregarious person - everyone would tell you that. I make friends quickly - a habit I picked up as an airforce brat. I am happy in a crowd, can stand up in front of any size audience and give forth. And, while all that is true, I crave solitude. I need it, if I'm out of it I pine. I need to be alone, alone, alone. Just me and my thoughts. That's why I like writing retreats and meditation retreats and long car trips and gaps in my day between clients. I like to sit and think.
Solitude is necessary for writers. We need to mull, to wool-gather, to imagine what ifs and to settle down our wild ideas. We need big lakes of solitude - vast and wide - filled with the cool clear water of being without other. We need places for our ideas to form and our imaginary towns to fill with characters. We need to hear ourselves think.
I suppose, like anything, solitude needs to be in balance. Too much and I could go stir crazy, too little and I get crabby and snap at innocent family members. And we get habituated to a certain amount of it.
Once, after I had lived alone for several years and been without a partner for ten, I went on a trip with a load of people - it was to the Dublin Marathon and we travelled in a group and stayed in rooms together and rah rahed it all over the place. A dear friend flew over and we went down to the Dingle Peninsula after the race for a lovely trip. And the third morning or so I thought I'd go mad for a bit of solitude. It wasn't my friend - we'd travelled lots of times together - before and since - it was the contrast of living so alone and then being with so many. I just needed to grab my journal and go off to a restaurant for breakfast on my own. She understood as she lives alone too.
Solitude - dear solitude - too much and it is a torture - not enough and we die of thirst for it.
the mountains in their solitude...from my recent trip

11 comments:

welcome to my world of poetry said...

I love seeing my family, playing with the grandchildren but living on my own I hate going back to the emptiness, though I do put aside an hour a day to listen to a relaxation cd with the cutains pulled and shut out the world,
I have much yo occupy my mind but at the end of the day I hate the loneliness.
Loved your post made a wonderful read.
Yvonne.

Tundiel said...

I know what you mean. I usually hate being on my own, but every now and again I crave a little peace.

I've left you a little something on my blog today!

fredamans said...

I crave solitude.

http://fredasvoice.blogspot.com/2011/04/s-is-for-sports.html

GigglesandGuns said...

I love people in doses but I thrive in solitude.

Rae said...

I'm not sure if I'm a loner because I write- or write because I'm a loner.... I agree with GigglesandGuns...

Roy Durham said...

from one wrangler to and another All around cowboy’s dream
Ride for the brand; get them doggies out of the stand, up at dawn, no time to yawn, bacon and beans, if you know what I mean. Pass the briskets please. All day in the saddle I dream, someday I will have a ranch. It’s a hard life they say, but they don’t know I pray, it will stay that way; to be out there where the wild things play. In town on payday Saturday night, not looking for a fight; but will to stay where the wild things play. They say it takes courage to live this way, but they don’t know it’s where the wild things play. The air is clean, the water runs clear, have nothing to fear, where the wild things play. There is a rodeo in town, praise the clown, ride a wild bronco, that the game. Win I might if I come in first in the go round, it’s just how the wild things play. Buckle and purse if you come in first; eight second ride that will tan your hide or break your pride; Just to be where the wild things hide. Look over there a,” all around cowboys dream”

Dorte H said...

Good point. All our children are home for Easter, and of ourse I love that, but I´ll also enjoy it Monday and Tuesday when they go back to uni ;)

Marjorie said...

I'm hardly ever alone. Maybe that's why sitting down and writing is tough for me.

Arlee Bird said...

I so agree with you here. I need balance in my life. I can enjoy a bustling scene or a party for a while but I need the alone time to get recharged and sort out my collected inspired thoughts. Busy times can be fun and productive, but they can be so distracting. Sometimes I just need to get away by myself to think and dream.


Lee
Tossing It Out

Murr Brewster said...

I'm afraid I shy away from people who look like they will require a lot from me. Doesn't matter how nice they are. I need them to be nice a little further away. I would hesitate to call this a writer's temperament, but it's as honest as it can be.

Nate Wilson said...

Although I love spending time with friends or family, I also enjoy my solitude, since that's when I'm at my most creative. Or, at least, that's when I try to be at my most creative, but my cats usually have other ideas...