Monday, July 27, 2009


Reading May Sarton's Journal of a Solitude, I am realizing how peaceful the house is when Caitie is out (she is newly returned from Italy and a cooking class), and Julien is out (away in Europe too, for 3 weeks with his backpacking buddies), and Jacques is at work.....

We spent a lovely week on vacation together, at home, not going anywhere special, at least during the day. Filling our evenings with suppers with friends, a singalong with chorus friends, an evening out at the Just for Laughs gala with his office partners, afternoon wine with friends, and supper at a golf course restaurant with J's parents. It was not 'that' quiet, since for me it was a very social week.

So back to the peace and quiet of the house alone.

And how the mind gets silted up when there is no silence in which to turn over the thoughts, impressions, people we meet, things that occur. There is a need in some of us to capture it in writing, to examine and behold a thing, even if it's a cloud at sunset, from all angles.

Nourishment for the soul, being alone during the day and having the space to do the homely tasks, water the plants, feed the cats, walk the dog, wash sheets, and yet also do the reading and writing and reflecting that are so needed too, like water or food.

Speaking of food, the least favourite activity of mine is preparing food for myself. I have a quick toast with something on it and coffee in the morning, and often reheat a frozen Indian meal for lunch - it's got the protein, carbs and vegetables all there in one plate. Taking time to prepare a meal during the 'work' hours is too intrusive.

So, although I am not living alone or in total solitude, I have the luxury of my days with the computer, with my blog, or diary, with my books to read and thoughts to think. Of course, I don't allow myself recreational books or fiction, during 'office hours' - except for last week, while on a home vacation, I got two historical fiction books read by Sarah Dunant. The Birth of Venus and IN the company of the Courtesan, set in Florence and Venice respectively, in the 16th century, and both full of great story lines and fascinating details about the period.

I have not written every day in my journal, and am only writing once a week on the blog, but since I am doing more reading the thirst for writing is returning, and I have done some revising of stories - which I realize I've kept in draft form on the computer for years without editing or attempting to send out anywhere.

Perhaps there is a short story writer slumbering in me.....given more solitude, it may just awaken.

Solitude is the water, the nourishment, the balm and lotion needed for a writer, to soothe and provide the space to work in.

have a great summer day,

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