Solo Time

I’m on a weekend sojourn.

This trip was hovering on the horizon for a long while. A few days on my own, a few nights to spend in my private mental zone, in the quiet of my thoughts and ruminations. Pretty much responsibility-free. Hallelujah.

At first, honestly, even after I’d planned it all out and the time had come, I was a bit reluctant to leave my own bedroom, my things, my projects, my household stuff. I’m always like that when I plan a trip away – a little reluctant on the cusp of going.

I packed up a lot of stuff. All just in case. I will probably only use a few things, but I brought everything. Guitar and music books, writing books, computer, sketch book, markers and beach stones smooth enough to draw upon.

All, just in case.

All, just to scatter along that sweet, blurry edge between boredom, nostalgia and productivity.

Yes, mostly I like to sit here and get really bored. Sleep untold amounts. Go for long, stupidly slow, meandering walks. Eat a lot of salted caramel chocolates. Write lots of pages.

It’s not exactly a Vipassana retreat.

What am I looking for, in these getaways? An extended period of time alone with my own thoughts, going along at my own pace, abiding by my own responses and reflections.

I remember when I used to record my every sojourn on video and make a little documentary out of my solitude. Something to show for my time away, a cool little project.

Nowadays, I tend to go away more quietly and deliberately, a few times a year. I’m like a big tortoise that has lived one hundred years and is planning to keep going for a lot longer, with all my creative ideas and supplies tucked up inside my lumbersome shell to be carried along with me. I go away like this because I need to. It suits me. It’s part of my circuit.

I go away for three days or more, to sit for long periods of time just thinking, resting, reading, writing or making art, getting exercise, doing whatever is my pleasure. All of it for the sake of attunement.

Attunement is the ability to sit in my own skin, in my own presence, quietly, knowing and feeling myself but not needing to represent, guard or defend. Being alone is the surest way for me to find this quality of peace within.

I’m so profoundly grateful for the opportunity and ability to engage in a retreat like this one. Not only do I have the privilege of access to a friend’s secluded cabin, I also have the time and flexible schedule, the home support, and the encouragement of my partner. Plus, I have to acknowledge (frankly) that I’m fortunate to possess the kind of personality to go ahead and take a few days of solitude. A lot of people wouldn’t be half as selfish.

As I sit here in this tiny room, allowing my nervous system to unwind and relax, I finally begin to recognize and allow for the reality of my fatigue. Going within, sinking down, I feel my stress melt away. There is nothing to grab at my attention here, no adolescents down the hall, no rattling in the kitchen, no dogs climbing on my bed, no partner rumbling across the hall, no TV, no voices, no barking. A sense of warmth spreads across my chest, as I float and surrender to the sensation of my solitude.

The further I melt down into this unwinding, the more tears I cry. I feel like my tears make no sense, but then they just keep happening so that makes total sense.

Nothing to do next. Nobody to talk to. The sound of my breath and my heartbeat, my music playing softly beside me. Releasing all my tears into nothingness.

I find my heart unfurling here in this clear space. Alone. The sun slants gently on the yard outside and touches the toes of my cabin’s windows with its evening spring light. I know that I will have three days and nights here with a pile of words and books around me, and a few visitors of different sorts, and some hours of quiet and fresh air each day.

I think it’s just right for what my soul needs now. A few days of deep, quiet respite.

Read more of Lone Peep’s writing at Sledgehammer of Love.

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