Monday, April 25, 2011

Lessons in Solitude: Reflections from a Vow of Mostly Silence.

I had been desperately craving to get away. Not in the usual wanderlusting-can't-stay-in-one-spot sort of way. I needed to be alone, to breathe without uttering words in conversation. It was a strange craving for someone like myself - someone that thrives off the words from good conversation, the verbal or non-verbal company of someone else. But it was undeniably a part of me and a part of me that I would soon remedy, given the first opportunity.

This first opportunity arrived for me in the form of spring break. The studios & school that I teach for were all taking this break on the same week, hallelujah! I quickly began researching hostels on the east coast, found a cheap one in Charleston, and made my way there on the night of April 20. My car was packed and I had Ollie, the travel owl and my bicycle for company.

Once there, I made a list of vows for myself - vows of "mostly silence." My life is filled with people, talking, conversation, introductions. All beautiful things, but it is my belief that an excess of anything is in need of a break at some point.

And yes, I was at that point.

One of these vows required me to write as much as possible, ESPECIALLY when I wanted to talk about it instead. I frequently begin talking about issues and struggles before I really let them steep and sit and be meditated upon. I am not against talking to someone you trust about the things you go through, but I do believe I am at fault for too quickly speaking and not enough time spent in thinking things through first.

Which leads me to the point of this note: my journal gained a good number of ink-filled pages throughout the duration of my stay in Charleston. This week I plan to post the thoughts I feel most publicly appropriate - lessons learned in solitude. Lessons learned in steeping. Lessons learned in resting.

We'll keep it light and simple for the first couple of posts.

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