So just over a week ago the restaurant that my spouse works at had a fire and closed indefinitely, which means that he has been home all week non-stop without ceasing and therefore always here.
Today, the restaurant re-opened. So tonight, I FINALLY came home to a quiet house, empty of all life save two cats and a few spiders that mostly stay out of my way.
This is awesome.
God, do I cherish the luxury of sitting at my computer, zoning out in silence and staring at the lake as the sleet falls down and the fog rolls in. Sweet Jesus, is it nice not to have to drown out the sound of yet another goddamn basketball game with the sound of my grinding teeth.
For Lo, Behold, I am an hermit. And I like my goddamn solitude.
On that note, I have just signed up a for a retreat in November at this monastery in Gloucester. One full, entire weekend of silent and solitary meditation, overlooking the grey winter sea. The application I had to fill out for the retreat had some inane question on it about how comfortable would I be with the idea of maintaining complete silence for three days.
This weekend will be almost entirely in response to a dream I had while on vacation in Vermont last fall with my in-laws. They are lovely people, and I thoroughly enjoyed travelling with them. I would jump at the chance to do it again, in fact, especially in light of the fact that they have a habit of travelling to places like Venice. And Wales.
But on my last full day in the stone farmhouse we rented just outside of Stowe, Vermont, it was raining and cold and I took a nap in my bed overlooking the mountains. When I woke up, I thought for a quick, incredibly vivid moment that I was on Nantucket, alone, and I thought, “Oh, what a lovely nap. I will now go downstairs and have some tea by the fire in this remote house on Nantucket where I am spending the weekend ALONE.”
And then I fully woke up, and realized that I was going to make that damn dream happen. I would take myself away for a weekend of alone-ness in a grey, damp, and wintry seaside place where I could wander the moors and drink tea and read books and munch on cheese and crackers and fill my head with large, dense clouds of unbroken silence.
So, a monastery in Gloucester is not quite an inn on Nantucket, but it is much cheaper, and I have a better chance of being left alone. I will still try to go to Nantucket at some point this year, because I have some unfinished business with a portrait in the Whaling Museum there.
But that is a different story, about a different dream.