Friday, June 11, 2010

Solitude.

Solitude is and has always been a bit elusive for me. When I think about the times of solitude in my life they come in the form of journal and pen, the practice of reflection and writing being my form of meditation since I was a little kid. Rarely, however, have I intentionally spent time in solitude.

A few years ago I began reading books by Thich Nhat Hanh, and I would retreat to my back porch with book, journal, and pen to meditate and reflect. These were lovely times, and I applauded my dedication. I felt really good, and these reflective times helped my to change my outlook on my mental state, my physical state, my relationships, and my connection to the world around me.

The second I got pregnant the first time the meditation waned. My attention was elsewhere - mommy books, mommy worries, expectations, redefinitions, finances, etc. There was no time for Ginger because Ginger no longer existed as she had before. My body was different, too. In hosting life to another being, I was transformed, and nothing was about me any more. Thich Nhat Hanh would've been disappointed that his student didn't heed his words of wisdom - that the practice of meditation doesn't have to be in silence or in stillness, it is not contingent upon immutability, and it doesn't have to be devoid of anxieties. Actually, he wouldn't be disappointed. He is patient..

After I miscarried, I stopped my meditations all together.

What I found was that solitude was dangerous, predatory, an invitation to self loathing, and I couldn't possibly subject myself to it. Self preservation.

A month after I lost the baby, I traveled to London by myself. The trip had been planned long before I was pregnant. The plan had been altered slightly because I was pregnant, and then it became a personal mile stone - a mountain to climb to prove that I could do it - a month before I left. The trip became my life's exodus. In London, I was forced into solitude. I had tons of reflection time - on the plane, on the train, on the Underground, at meal times, in the park, everywhere, all the time. Instead of taking time to heal, I distracted myself - happily - making new friends, roaming around the city, visiting new places, pubs, punting.. I wrote about these things. I blogged about them. I had an incredible time being someone else - no more personal stuff - no more Ginger.

I got back home and turned around and went to Alaska a few days later. Same story, different place. I came home and promptly flew to New York for work. I had an incredible time! I was being very successful at distracting myself. I was happy!

And then work started, I got pregnant again and had the baby - Jack . He turns two today!

I haven't stopped running.

This post was inspired by the Loose Bloggers Consortium, a small and feisty(!) global community. We write weekly on a common topic (Solitude, this week) and post responses - all of us together, simultaneously, from all over the world. (Lovely!) Please visit Anu, Ashok, Conrad, gaelikaa, Grannymar, Judy, Magpie 11, Maria and Ramana for other wonderful posts.

8 comments:

Rummuser said...

At this stage of life and with the experiences that you have had, I am not surprised that you are running. You will however reach that stage of seeking solitude sooner than you think. This time around, you will enjoy it and look forward to more of it.

K A B L O O E Y said...

Hang on until time presents itself, or carve out little bits by scheduling them in. If you crave solitude, go get some. Or appreciate the blur of life at the moment and appreciate the quiet more when it arrives. Great post -- specific and universal at once.

rainbow said...

Your solitude will return before you realize it. Sometimes it's GOOD and sometimes it can be bad. Just enjoy every moment you have to the FULLEST! Think back how fast this last 2 years have gone. THE BEST IS YET TO BE!!!!!!!!!! You are such an inspiration to me,THANK YOU for being a part of my life and THANKS Rich for finding her. GOOD JOB

gaelikaa said...

Life has its seasons and in this season solitude will be elusive. But as a mother, you'll learn to grab moments here and there...

Maria said...

My heart goes out to you. I too have experienced a miscarriage. It was my second pregnancy and I was in the 2nd month of the first trimester. My first-born was just a year old and before I had time to come to grips with my loss, my second son was conceived. The boys were only 16 months apart in age. Still even fifty years later, I find myself wondering about the baby I lost.

Running wears one out. Facing the grief is difficult and finally letting it go is freeing. You will know when it is time to quit running.

My best wishes to that little birthday boy of yours as he embarks on the terrible two's which in retrospect don't seem terrible at all.

Ashok said...

There is no set path for bouncing back or no words which can help make things better in such situations. Solitude doesn't make things better in the face of setbacks. It only makes sense that you stay social and continue to write. Eventually there will be closure and perhaps then you will be able to make peace with solitude :)

Grannymar said...

When the time is right solitude will find you and the experience gained will all prepare you for it.

prashant said...

Facing the grief is difficult and finally letting it go is freeing. You will know when it is time to quit running.
Banner Advertising Network India

Friday, June 11, 2010

Solitude.

Solitude is and has always been a bit elusive for me. When I think about the times of solitude in my life they come in the form of journal and pen, the practice of reflection and writing being my form of meditation since I was a little kid. Rarely, however, have I intentionally spent time in solitude.

A few years ago I began reading books by Thich Nhat Hanh, and I would retreat to my back porch with book, journal, and pen to meditate and reflect. These were lovely times, and I applauded my dedication. I felt really good, and these reflective times helped my to change my outlook on my mental state, my physical state, my relationships, and my connection to the world around me.

The second I got pregnant the first time the meditation waned. My attention was elsewhere - mommy books, mommy worries, expectations, redefinitions, finances, etc. There was no time for Ginger because Ginger no longer existed as she had before. My body was different, too. In hosting life to another being, I was transformed, and nothing was about me any more. Thich Nhat Hanh would've been disappointed that his student didn't heed his words of wisdom - that the practice of meditation doesn't have to be in silence or in stillness, it is not contingent upon immutability, and it doesn't have to be devoid of anxieties. Actually, he wouldn't be disappointed. He is patient..

After I miscarried, I stopped my meditations all together.

What I found was that solitude was dangerous, predatory, an invitation to self loathing, and I couldn't possibly subject myself to it. Self preservation.

A month after I lost the baby, I traveled to London by myself. The trip had been planned long before I was pregnant. The plan had been altered slightly because I was pregnant, and then it became a personal mile stone - a mountain to climb to prove that I could do it - a month before I left. The trip became my life's exodus. In London, I was forced into solitude. I had tons of reflection time - on the plane, on the train, on the Underground, at meal times, in the park, everywhere, all the time. Instead of taking time to heal, I distracted myself - happily - making new friends, roaming around the city, visiting new places, pubs, punting.. I wrote about these things. I blogged about them. I had an incredible time being someone else - no more personal stuff - no more Ginger.

I got back home and turned around and went to Alaska a few days later. Same story, different place. I came home and promptly flew to New York for work. I had an incredible time! I was being very successful at distracting myself. I was happy!

And then work started, I got pregnant again and had the baby - Jack . He turns two today!

I haven't stopped running.

This post was inspired by the Loose Bloggers Consortium, a small and feisty(!) global community. We write weekly on a common topic (Solitude, this week) and post responses - all of us together, simultaneously, from all over the world. (Lovely!) Please visit Anu, Ashok, Conrad, gaelikaa, Grannymar, Judy, Magpie 11, Maria and Ramana for other wonderful posts.

8 comments:

Rummuser said...

At this stage of life and with the experiences that you have had, I am not surprised that you are running. You will however reach that stage of seeking solitude sooner than you think. This time around, you will enjoy it and look forward to more of it.

K A B L O O E Y said...

Hang on until time presents itself, or carve out little bits by scheduling them in. If you crave solitude, go get some. Or appreciate the blur of life at the moment and appreciate the quiet more when it arrives. Great post -- specific and universal at once.

rainbow said...

Your solitude will return before you realize it. Sometimes it's GOOD and sometimes it can be bad. Just enjoy every moment you have to the FULLEST! Think back how fast this last 2 years have gone. THE BEST IS YET TO BE!!!!!!!!!! You are such an inspiration to me,THANK YOU for being a part of my life and THANKS Rich for finding her. GOOD JOB

gaelikaa said...

Life has its seasons and in this season solitude will be elusive. But as a mother, you'll learn to grab moments here and there...

Maria said...

My heart goes out to you. I too have experienced a miscarriage. It was my second pregnancy and I was in the 2nd month of the first trimester. My first-born was just a year old and before I had time to come to grips with my loss, my second son was conceived. The boys were only 16 months apart in age. Still even fifty years later, I find myself wondering about the baby I lost.

Running wears one out. Facing the grief is difficult and finally letting it go is freeing. You will know when it is time to quit running.

My best wishes to that little birthday boy of yours as he embarks on the terrible two's which in retrospect don't seem terrible at all.

Ashok said...

There is no set path for bouncing back or no words which can help make things better in such situations. Solitude doesn't make things better in the face of setbacks. It only makes sense that you stay social and continue to write. Eventually there will be closure and perhaps then you will be able to make peace with solitude :)

Grannymar said...

When the time is right solitude will find you and the experience gained will all prepare you for it.

prashant said...

Facing the grief is difficult and finally letting it go is freeing. You will know when it is time to quit running.
Banner Advertising Network India