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.