by Elizabeth Van Buskirk
This is the first morning of my five-day solo writing retreat. I have my own little study under the upstairs balcony. It has an old water-stained door into the so-called fireplace room and a (barely) sliding glass door onto a little deck. I like to write in confined space. Never tried a straight jacket. But that could be a useful experiment.
My partner, gone home to Vermont to work, will be back Friday, Memorial Day weekend. He is my first reader and sounding board. At first I grieve his leaving but have told our dog I won’t wait by the back door until he returns. I too am a softie for separations but time alone gives a power unlike any other as Paul Theroux pointed out in his wonderful “Great Patagonian Express.” Of course I am lucky, this is not a permanent and grief-stricken loss as I have seen friends suffer. So I can only celebrate my lonely senses so loudly sounding.
It seems no one is around. But when I took my morning walk, I found my hat hanging on a bush at the edge of the meadow. So I do not feel alone,. I figure morning is my free time to communicate via internet, the growing addiction. I stay up to write late into the night. 2:00 AM: true solitude, fully focused under lamplight.