You know those films where the innocent prisoner is condemned to solitary confinement? There’s a part of me that has always thought, Really? That wouldn’t be so bad if they let have paper and pencils.
Of course, I’m fully aware it’s a horrible punishment in reality, but the desire to hole up by myself for long periods of time has always appealed; or perhaps indulge in enforced silence, like practiced in monasteries and convents. Again, this fantasy only works for me if I’ve been given a means to write.
In effect, I’ve created that environment for myself, except that I can escape at will. I excitedly bought an RV, moved out of a three bedroom house, sold all the stuff I’d accumulated over many years, traveled to Sacramento from Phoenix, found a tiny mobile home park and settled in. That was four years ago.
I don’t have a television by choice. I do have a radio, which I listen to incessantly and a personal DVD player for the legions of DVDs I borrow from the library. The rest of my isolated existence is spent reading and writing.
And this from a woman who is an acknowledged “people person” and practicing extrovert. The thing is that while I love people; it is primarily in short stints. I like connecting in a personal interview. The best part of being a cab driver for a year was the short, intense relationships that cropped up as I drove my fare from a home or hotel to the airport. It was just enough time to spark some fascinating conversations.
At a party or family gathering, I’m only good for about two hours. Then I begin to yearn for solitude and quiet. Now, in the third act of my life, I am engaged in peaceful contemplation and relating the stories that have been rolling around in my head for lo these many years.
My soul is grateful for my self-imposed solitary endeavors.