A Quiet Time, A Quiet Place

Not that I’ve needed any more quiet time lately, but for the past couple of days I’ve been away on a different plane of existence. That is, totally away from people. Totally away from society and the busy push-and-grind of my apartment overlooking the hectic Courtland Street/Ottawa Street intersection in Kitchener.

My conversations with people, when I’m going away on my own for a little while, seem to evolve something like this:

“Oh? You’re going away – do you know anyone down that way? Having any parties?”
“Um, no actually. I’m just going to be on my own.”
“On your own?! What are you going to do?”
“I dunno. Just relax, enjoy a retreat I suppose.”
“Huh.” Blank look.

I wasn’t counting the number of people who gave me searching looks, wondering if I was quite right in the head, when I expressed my desire to have alone time. Admittedly, I did have a (human) visitor while out here and tons of time with the two dogs. But the purpose was not to have lots of social interaction – in fact, the exact opposite. The purpose was to go for long, wandering, pointless walks along the country roads; to stare into the bush while the little birds and animals moved around me; to read or write only when I felt like it. I’ve always felt these experiences to be a core (and thus necessary) part of my person.

As a result of this purposelessness, I moved beyond an anxiety about my current state of employment, about my future prospects, and about my personal life. I felt (feel) reconciled and renewed. I will return to the ‘real’ world now ready to face people again.

I didn’t pay anything for this away time, but it sure felt like a vacation! Maybe everyone needs to find a quiet time, and a quiet place, for their vacations.

A pretty nice spot on which to lounge and ponder life.
A pretty nice spot in which to lounge and ponder life.


2 Comments Add yours

  1. robertlfs says:

    I can definitely relate to this need. I find that the times alone, without words of others in the form of conversation or reading books, is the opportunity to have a dialogue with myself – which always seems a pretty enlightening exercise in making discovery of true self.

    Consider the Jungian concept of Active Imagination as an opportunity for exploration.

  2. marialegault says:

    Neat! Thanks for the lead, Robert – I have never heard of the concept of ‘Active Imagination’ before. A quick background check on Wikipedia suggests that it has a pretty fascinating history with influences from and on math, religion, arts, and psychology.

    Definitely something that I’ll be reading up on further!

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