Solitude I have learned… it energizes me. I’m more creative on my own, when I’m locked away in some secret garden… not outside the world, just hidden from the world.
I dream of one day living on some plot of land, maybe with a little river or stream burbling by, with a sunny spot for a veggie plot. Live in a Tiny House, a place far enough away to have seclusion, but close enough to bike in to town for what I need.
Sometimes, there were moments, rare sprinkles of joy scattered amongst the loneliness… or that’s how I used to see it, but I was wrong. Regardless of my stubborn servitude to partnering up, I have most often been more content, happier, less anxious, often joyful, on my own.
I constructed the loneliness. I believed I was supposed to be with someone, so I was, regardless of proof to the contrary that happiness was available to me just as certainly when I was on my own.
In time though, after that last death, you know, way up in Grey County at Tim’s Lake, a prisoner in paradise. Days, months, gazing out at a frosty white world, weekly trips into town for groceries when the neighbours went… for those 4 months after Tim died it was just me, well, and Irish, a winter wonderland out my door, all on my own in a little gingerbread quaint cottage by a lake.
After Tim died, I soaked in everything. Began first in November with long walks round the block, every day Irish and I would set out, go the same way, see the same things, trying to capture the landscape, the beauty I saw.
Once March came I was gone, back to the homestead in Dodge, then on to London once I had a job and an apartment. I may never get back to that place, those rolling hills, the wild woods.
Cause, mom, it was not for Tim that I had stayed. No. I was in love with the place. The people. And, the life we had, and my love for Tim was… em, ya… rather complicated.
You know, him being the lying piece of narcissistic control-freak gaslighting shite he was, not to be trusted… ya, that sorta got in the way.
Well, until the end was nye… at the end I couldn’t leave him, dying of cancer… I’m not cruel.
MsP said I liked that he took over the steering, captained the ship. And you know, she’s not wrong. I guess I did just get so tired from the grief of my divorce. I was tired from the grief after you died. It’s hard to fight off sad when you feel so worn out with grief, at losing so much, at trying to love again, and having it ripped away, again… and really making a jolly fukin effort to soldier on and to not take it personally.
I look back and see Tim was a kind of time-out. A sort of fuk ya all, I’m going to go blawdy have some goddamn fun for a bit… till it went sideways.
After almost 2 decades of grief, and after Tim, something just snapped inside.
So, truth is that I guess I actually do better in isolation. Heck, I crave it, like any other introvert, I need solitude in order to re-energize.
Proof of creativity in solitude is that I started this blog after Tim died. Stranded up there in that snowy paradise, all these words and images poured out of me. Ideas and stories I had collected over the years, family stories. Ideas, photographs, landscapes, light, shadow, my life laid bare, up there with nothing to reach for, no one to talk to, I looked inward for the spark I desired.
I talked about you, talked about you and grandma a lot. Guess you at some point became my muse.
Raised by strong women, I always felt I had a lot to live up to. All of grandma’s sisters went to school, became nurses, and Great Aunt Helen a teacher, grandma a Stenographer. Women with a vocation, professional and educated, in a time when it was still rare for women to work outside the home. They were that generation of women who voted for the very first time, they were feminist before it was cool.
And, they of course were not alone, I just found Great Great Aunt Jen listed in the 1921 Census for the City of Woodstock, as a lodger – 38 years old, and a Nurse.
Cool eh? She and another woman lived with a family named McThee, and she and this other lodger must have worked at the hospital in Woodstock. Found that thru the free access our local library is giving everyone during the lockdown, since all the Libraries are closed.
Anywho… the point being, those days at the lake were almost like a preamble for me, wondering, waiting, wistfully whiling away those boring hours, I learned about what strengths I had.
However, that said, and to be 100% honest, I am a bit worried that the longer this lockdown goes on, the more difficult it is going to be for me to get out and be with people.
Seriously, mom, you know me. I’d be perfectly happy living as some religious hermit in the wilds of Patagonia. I’m already beginning to feel that sense of anxiety when I think of going out, when I gaze out the window and see people walking by with their dog on the sidewalk, I kind of cringe, at the thought of interacting.
Yeah, wee bit of the ol’agoraphobia creeping up on me. Got that naturally, though, and in that regard, thank goodness for the wee Pika, as much as she is a more inside doggo, she goes a little daemon ninja weasel, and forces me out the door, into the world.
I mean, seriously, hard not to belly laugh at her leaping and jumping, and twirling and dancing around like a monkey on crack in the sunshine. Her delicious rambunctious spirit epitomizes how most folks are feeling, that rapturous joy at being outside, in the sunshine, walking along the sidewalk, in the fresh air… free of those four-walls, if just briefly. Her punky little free as a kite in the wind spirit is infectious.
I have settled into a zone, I’m at peace with solitude. The opportunity to actually do some good for the world, by doing something I just happen to love doing naturally? Doing something that ignites my creative spark?
Course, then at some point I guess I have to eventually go back to reality… but… that day is not THIS day.