I’m visiting one of my “happy places”—Door County, Wisconsin. I have been coming here since I was an infant with my family; usually camping at the beautiful Peninsula State Park in Fish Creek. I’m not the most spontaneous person, but a couple weeks ago, I got it in my head that I needed to come up here for a few days. (Now, some of you may argue that a couple of weeks is not being spontaneous, but for me…well…)
I wanted just a little, tiny, cabin with a space to make some simple food and enjoy the wonderfulness that is Door County. I couldn’t find the right spot. Labor Day weekend in Door County? The somewhat “last hurrah” for a Northwood’s vacationers paradise? Ummm…not only was it difficult to find a place…rates were through the roof. I figured that my way impulsive and crazy ideas were just too plain crazy (yeah…going to Door County…sooooo crazy!) for this timing. No big deal. I did one more search and came across this website for a “retreat cabin” called Sanctuary. It looked cute, simple, everything I needed, accessible to all my favorite things…and you wouldn’t believe the price. Serendipitous!
I don’t have it in my head that I’m on retreat; that was not really my objective. However, incorporating some retreatish space comes naturally. Today, I woke up (after sleeping until 10…thank you Jesus!) and had a curiosity to ponder why I’d be led to Sanctuary and what that might mean for me right now. I don’t know that I’ve come up with anything (ha ha), but I thought it might be worth writing about…(my stream of consciousness/”not planned out” blog entries always end up interesting to say the least.)
I began reflecting upon that I’ve been pretty lonely these days; especially in my new place since when I moved in May. The contrast which struck me is how I’m feeling “full” and content here in this place of intentional solitude. I like quiet. I like space. What is it that makes this intentional solitude a place of comfort rather than a place of anxiety/loneliness when I’m at home?
I don’t know…so if you figure that out please write to me…fast! Have a nice day; until next time…
Ha! Just kidding (although part of me would love to leave my readers hanging like that…). I really don’t do feelings very well…but if someone held me down and my life depended upon naming one, I think I could name loneliness with some accuracy.
I’m just going to put it out there…loneliness sucks. My image is this dead-like weight that holds you down while you walk around looking like a Neanderthal almost standing upright, but not quite. It duct tapes you to the pity pot and forces you to think pitiful things. Loneliness, schmonlieness.
For me at this point, loneliness feels like the scratch in the record (CD? I guess you can’t scratch an MP3…) that when it hits, the damn song starts over or running on a treadmill that has no emergency shut off cord. It reminds me of where I’m not (living in community), what I don’t have (community, friends, etc), and what I deeply desire. When I’m in that rut…all I feel is the same old pain, anger, and frustration. Icky! Icky! Enough already…own it, acknowledge, blah blah don’t stuff…but seriously…I’ve had enough.
I’m an optimist by nature (although, if you don’t believe me because of my latest writings…travel back in time to www.onefunnunslife.blogspot.com and read some of the early writings…it’s true…it’s in me somewhere, still trying to find her!)—when I’m walking like the Neanderthal and duct taped to the pity pot, I get mad and frustrated. Oh…those are two helpful things in this situation! NOT. Mad+frustration+lonely+duct tape does not = optimism or a catapult out of the rut. Truthfully…I want to focus on where I am…what I do have…what I deeply desire, yes…and see it as possible.
Maybe this is what Sanctuary is providing me right now. A refuge and protection from duct tape and scoliosis—reminders that solitude doesn’t mean alone, my crushed dreams and annihilated inner self don’t mean terminal, and that Sanctuary is sometimes serendipitous and exactly what I need to find another starting point.