Friday, October 22, 2010


I have discovered that, in addition to the usual life-sustaining necessities, there are a few items critical to my well-being. When these fall out of balance, I get edgy, unsettled. I need regular spiritual study and daily exercise. I need to write. And I need time alone. I suppose I also require social contact, but as I cannot currently seem to escape people these days, I have not felt sufficient lack of society lately to recognize any conscious craving for it. Due to circumstances beyond my control, I have missed my coveted hours of solitude this week. The loss has set me to fantasizing about how I would spend a couple of hours alone with my own thoughts. In true David Letterman fashion, I will post my top 10 list.

Number 10: Lock the door, turn up the music (something rather loud, with a decent beat), and clean. Then, with the dust and grime a not so distant memory, relax into the sofa, smell the subtle hint of Pine Sol, and soak in a fleeting moment of order and calm.

Number 9: Dine alone in a restaurant, preferably one with a garden view, an artsy decor, and enough of a crowd so that I can observe the other patrons anonymously and imagine their back stories. Order something light, with an exquisite blend of flavors. Wash it down with sparkling water and a twist of lime and tie it all up with dark chocolate and herb tea.

Number 8: Don leather and hop on the Harley for a motorcycle ride through the countryside. Watch the sunlight sparkle on the lake as I pass.

Number 7: Close the blinds, turn down the lights, locate a CD of rainsong, and meditate. Find ohm.

Number 6: Watch a movie, perhaps something on the order of Jane Austen or "Room with a View." It must be entertaining and can even verge on frivolous, but it must also be well done.

Number 5: Go for a hike. The Sunset Ridge trail on Mount Mansfield fits the bill as well as anything else. It starts in the trees, shaded and intimate, but soon opens up to an expansive view and culminates above the tree line, overlooking mile upon mile of humanity, softened by hazy afternoon sunlight and too far away to be obtrusive.

Number 4: Settle into a steaming hot bath, with scented candles and soft music.

Number 3: Visit an art museum. Rush through the ancient history and cubism exhibits. Slow down as I round the corner to the Impressionists. Drink in the likes of Monet and Van Gogh, then move on to Edward Hopper, Frank Lloyd Wright, and Ansel Adams. Breathe until my soul fills to the brim with beauty.

Number 2: Write. The result won't be the great American novel, perhaps, but ideally something profound, not so grand as to inspire nations but rather so true that it introduces the reader to his or her own soul.

Number 1: Gather my herb tea and a book, arrange the pillows just so, and settle back on the bed to read. Fight to keep my eyes open just long enough to allow the urge to grow impossible to resist.  Then let my book fall to the side and surrender to sleep, a mug of vanilla chamomile cooling at my elbow.

1 comment:

  1. i like your list. i used to think i was a 10 on the 1-10 extrovert scale. and perhaps i was. but i'm closer to a 1 or 2 these days. i used to be afraid of quiet. now it's delightful. hope you find some J-time really soon! ♥