The View I’m Craving

December 3rd, 2008

Lately I find myself thinking a lot about living in the country. I fantasize about a cabin in the mountains, a farm at the end of a gravel road, a cottage on a lake. To throw open a window and look out on moonlight and mist, to be able to hear silence instead of sirens and static. It’s fairly preposterous, because dark nights alone in the mountains would probably make me obsess about serial murderers, and I can’t make anything grow, so I would starve to death on a farm. But I think it’s important to pay attention to odd, extravagant cravings of the soul because it may mean you’re pregnant with a desire that needs to be born. In my case, I suspect I need to make more time to be alone without distractions, and I’m so undisciplined that the only way I can force myself to do that is to remove myself physically, to enter a convent of the mind. ┬áIn the course of daily life and work, it’s so much easier to fritter away my time than it is to focus my mind. There are ideas for projects that I toy with but never follow through on, creative itches that I scratch by watching television or snacking or talking on the phone instead of sitting at the computer or opening a sketchbook or signing up for a class. My daughter thinks it’s a case of attention-deficit — I’m so impatient and incapable of being in the present moment that I unbuckle my seat belt half a block from home just to be ready to get out of the car– but I suspect it’s more like having a slothful spirit. Could I be rehabilitated by putting myself in solitary confinement?

3 Responses to “The View I’m Craving”

  1. woodley park-zoo says:

    Alone time really seems like the first ingredient for focus, and after that, maybe somehow mandatory removal of distraction (like how my wireless was dead for two days!) What did I do though? I am happy to say I at least managed to read quite a few chapters from a novel (David Foster Wallace – Infinite Jest which has a description of someone who does what I do, fast channel switching, web-tabs in my case, almost in fear of missing out on something right around the corner). Still need to point myself more towards execution of my own ideas though.

    And even now, I think it’s time for me to turn off the Airport and get back into my own head again. Must fall in love with the time it affords me!

  2. frida says:

    I’ve had my first week off and now I’m into my second. This is the first time in years that I’ve taken time off to be alone…it’s really remarkable. I feel selfish but also very satisfied!

  3. Di Mackey says:

    I have a similar longing for the country, and a similar ability to obsess about what might be in that quiet dark night so … sometimes I just wander over here: