My family departed this morning for two weeks or more, bound for the wilderness of northern Minnesota, leaving me to tend to projects and beasts both large and small. I don’t mind the solitude as much as once I might have. This is not the same as saying I don’t get lonely, because I do, but I also appreciate the stripped-down nature of my time alone, the way it allows both mind and body to focus on the tasks and thoughts at hand. And of course the small pleasures one allows oneself in such circumstances, most of which (in my case, at least) revolve around food consumption: Drinking straight from the jar of milk, eating directly from the pan in which the meat was cooked, generally at the edge of the fire over which it was cooked, and possibly with no utensils beyond the thumb and pointer fingers, salads picked and consumed in the garden – a handful of lettuce washed down by a few green beans. Maybe a carrot, extra crunchy for the soil packed into its creases. There. A complete meal. It’s not a pretty sight, I’ll grant you that, but the sink remains free of dishes, the food tastes just fine, and I find my body feels best when unencumbered by overly much attention to detail.
Which is maybe a pretty good rule for a whole lot of other things, too.
14 thoughts on “Maybe a Pretty Good Rule”
I love solitude. I love no dishes in the sink. Relish.
Indeed, it is.
Nice distinction… the pleasure of solitude not exempting us from loneliness. Learned that one last summer.
Henri Nouwen’s book of 1975 called Reaching Out is definitely worth reaching out for, on this topic.
A great amount of freedom and pleasure can be found by figuring out exactly what we can live without.
Truer words were never spoke, Scott. Thanks for the reminder!
That would be “spoken.” Tired fingers. 🙂
When two people love, respect, and trust each other implicitly as you and Penny do (like Ken and I also) – time apart allows for it to grow that much more. We have found it very healthy for our relationship when I pick myself up to retreat to my VT cabin a handful of times a year. We know it won’t last forever these breaks, since I’m pushing 60 and it’s a long way to travel from the farm in MI, but one day soon we will do it more together, as his time frees up to join me more often. Yet, for now, the unconventional suits our independent and creative natures. And it is bliss for us.
(BTW, let me know when I can come over to see the new farm. You’re only a stone’s throw, ya know! LoL)
Sent from my happy mobile world to yours!
How about a homemade guitar case?
Hope you all enjoy your time!
Anything to avoid those damn dishes…..shoot, my husband won’t even eat when I’m gone, too much work!
i always tell my kids you don’t need a bowl or plate for that! just eat the damn thing.
My husband travels frequently for work. I secretly like it.
I love that your family is going away for 2 weeks or more and the largest items in the back of their vehicle are homemade pack baskets. Second largest being a guitar. Got the priorities straight there, I think. 🙂