Friday, October 27, 2006

Writing Sojourn

I wrote this at 10:00 AM last Tuesday, but I wasn't connected to the Internet at the time, and I haven't had a chance to post it till now.

Today I’m at the cabin of family friends in the next county over from SCT. They are new friends, actually: he is our minister who moved to town July 1 of this year. We quickly struck up a friendship and are still getting to know each other. Jack has his Ph.D., and the minute he realized I was working on my dissertation, he and his wife offered their cabin in the woods to me as an occasional retreat from it all…to write write write and get this thing done.

It seems to be working out just fine. I rearranged my schedule to take some time off from work. 45 minutes later, here I am in the woods. Beautiful time to be here, with the fall leaves and such. The location is the top of a hill covered with tall trees, accessible by a small gravel road leading to an even smaller gravel driveway that splits off an even lesser travel fork of said driveway, and you need to just know just which fork to take to find the place. It’s truly quiet and peaceful, therefore. No internet access, my cell phone hardly works, nothing. All the comforts of home, otherwise: running water, heat, & electricity. I’m glad it all works.

My grandmother lived in the woods for so many years, but I was never alone at her place till just before she died and I stopped by to take some pictures. Being alone here is a bit odd, I’ll admit, but also very nice.

First of all, I could literally walk around naked and not worry about being arrested for indecent exposure (and believe you me, that would truly be indecent). Can’t see another person out of any window. Nothing but trees. Ah, nice. Second, I suddenly have a very heavy reliance on my car, and I realize that I’m in desperate need of an oil change and the like. I wouldn’t neglect my car if I lived out here all the time, that’s for sure.

Third, it’s nice to just be completely myself and completely alone. This is a rare thing. Even the writing retreat in Chicago was in the middle of suburbia, and there were some distractions. The only distraction here is nature, which is quite attractive I must add. But life is simple today. Write write write, and then hopefully have time to reward myself by taking a hike or just looking out the window. I sorta like this.

But I sorta don’t. There is a lot of pressure to finish this up and “move on” with life. Frankly I’d rather be out here to relax instead of work. Wife wanted to come with me, saying she was jealous of my time here alone in the woods. I said to her that if she wanted the pressure of having the family rely on me to finish this up, then she could take it. Probably wasn’t my finest moment, but my point was that this isn’t all that fun. I would rather be here with her. Coming to the woods to work is about as much fun as traveling across the world to see a new country, only to fine oneself confined to a strip mall doing the same old thing you always do.

I have no complaints about this opportunity to work here in the woods, and I look forward to another day when I could come back to do so again. But I really look forward to just coming here for a day of peace and quiet with my family in tow. Now THAT will be nice.

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