All By Myself

One of the things I was a bit worried about on my writer’s retreat was the fact that I would be all by myself.  Of course, I was also looking forward to it, but it was an unfamiliar experience.  I’d traveled by myself before, or in the company of strangers or acquaintances.  The difference with those was that they were structured trips; a trip organized by my school, a live-aboard dive boat, and professional conferences.  Even though I was solely responsible for myself, I was not responsible for setting the itinerary and keeping myself entertained.

My writer’s retreat was different.

There were only two things scheduled for the entire trip: arrive before 5pm on Sunday and leave by 8am on Wednesday.  Between those two things?  Nothing.  It was actually quite invigorating once I shifted into a slow-down mode.  A couple of times I caught myself planning ahead for the evening.  This I quelled at once.  Decisions were made spontaneously.  If I wanted to hike, I picked a trail.  What I was going to do after hiking didn’t matter and it wasn’t decided until the hike was done.  At one point I was sitting in my camp chair, looking at the lake, and I was trying to decide which of several choices to do next.  It took me a bit to realize that the reason I couldn’t choose is because what I really wanted to do was sit in the camp chair and look at the lake some more.  So I stayed put.

I made the whole trip really easy on myself, too.  I took only food that could be eaten as-is, so I didn’t have to cook.  As a bonus, all of my food was finger-food; there were no dishes.  Other than sleeping during the storm that rolled in on the second night, there was nothing I had to do that was unpleasant.  Of course, the point of the trip was to write, but that came easily and naturally and really reinvigorated my love of writing.

I did make one discovery about myself.  I talk to myself when I’m alone.  This isn’t really new information, but the extent to which I talk out loud when was quite surprising.  I talk to myself.  I speak dialog aloud.  I greet woodpeckers, scold noisy crows, and reassure startled squirrels.  I even have half-conversations with inanimate objects occasionally.

Apparently, for me, peace does not require quiet.  🙂


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Laura Wise
    Apr 29, 2011 @ 10:29:47

    I talk to the rabbits in my backyard on a regular basis, and just started talking to the swallows that have nested above my front door. I completely understand talking to things out loud. I do it often. I have found that it helps cut the quiet. My cats usually get a running commentary of random things too 🙂


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