I have spent the last month in Costa Rica. A week of that was awash in absolute pandemonium, with 17 children from my daughters school present. It was exhausting, and very compressed.
The rest of the time has been spent in a peaceful quiet solitude, mostly walking on beaches. I needed it. Life has given me a tumultuous couple of years… so much so that I barely blogged.
You may or may not have noticed, but I did. The art slowly leeching out of my life. Much less blogging. Much less singing. Not to mention piano, painting, drawing, or dancing…
Writing I still do. I can’t help it. The hours of sneaking off into my office to write, with a nagging memory of a frown of disapproval for not having been working when promised. But such is my life. To fit the time into do anything artistic, something else must be allowed to lapse. Workety work work work.
I didn’t do much of any kind of expression. The humming and singing died out… Physical illness played a part. But I’m recovering. Difficulties with relationships played a part. Being stressed beyond my limits played a part.
But a month away spent mostly in quiet reflection has done a world of good for my sense of peace. Peace being essential to the creation of art. To the creation of anything.
I don’t know why this noisy tropical country provides more stillness than my home life. But it does. There’s something to not being a part of what is around you that allows you a sense of tranquility.
I’m hoping that I can retain this sense of calm once I have returned to the busy repetitious workaday life of my home. And the people there, who have waited patiently for my return, not understanding probably as well as I would like the degree to which I desperately needed some space.
As I near 40, I am just beginning to learn about myself how very much I prefer solitude to constant companionship. Or at least long stretches of solitude between times spent crunched elbow to elbow with others.
I’m not terribly comfortable with this fact, this lesson I have learned about myself. I would prefer to be a very sociable creature. The life of the party, the woman everyone knows brings laughter where she goes. And to a degree, I’m a social person. I can be depended on to help any of my friends when they need it. I don’t shun the company of those I love. But, I find refuge in the silent spaces, the reflection time.
I know myself. I understand myself. And that’s good enough for me when I am alone. I don’t get lonely until a breadth of time that stretches the patience of those who are lonely without me.
I’ve been here long enough, in this paradise of monocongos and birds in tall trees, or beaches and morning laughter from jokes in a foreign tongue, in this place of displaced people whose emptiness jars, in this land of wandering addicts, to now miss my children and my man, to miss the companionship and laughter of mealtime shared. To miss the sanity of understanding every word spoken around you.
I once again need a body beside me in the bed, and people to talk to. I think this good thing, to be coming home.
But, I hope I can retain the calm I’ve found, long enough to pick up the dropped strands of my various arts, and begin to weave them back into my life. They are sorely missed.