The Hermit, a collage by Lunaea Weatherstone, is described this way: "A woman sits in contemplation at the edge of a still northern lake. The sky above her is heavy with clouds and storms threaten, yet she remains under the lowering sky, thoughtful. She dwells here alone, one who has come away from the noise of the world and the comforts of companionship to hear her own inner voice and to read the messages in the sky, water, and stone. Without distraction, seemingly without connection to the world . . .This is the country of silence. . .the deep need of the soul for quiet solitude. . .Give yourself this gift."
Sayre , our Fun Monday host for this week asks us about our Quiet Places. What do we take refuge in when we need to escape life's crazies and renew our spirit? Well, since I live alone with Willie the laid back pit bull, finding a quiet place is not the challenge it may be for some of you who are surrounded by family, work and community. I am by nature a hermit, perfectly happy to stay home with all the interferences from the outside world tuned out (except blogging and facebook :-) Many weeks, except for daily dog walks, I may leave home only once. I am happy to at last be able to shut out the world after years of being with people. However, I still need the "comfort of friendship" so I'll meet my friends for days of shopping and crafting, lunch, a movie, or play.
But to get to that Quiet Place that Sayre asks about, I have to go it alone. Julia Cameron, author of The Artist's Way and my favorite writing and creativity coach, recommends weekly expeditions where you explore something new on your own. These Artist Dates, as she calls them, allows you to totally tune into the experience without being concerned about being a good friend or travel companion. With the lovely days of fall coming on, I have some Artist Dates planned where I'm only concerned about my own enjoyment:
Fall Antiques Market at the Historic Locust Grove mansion in Louisville where I can wander through over 100 booths filled with American country antiques and treasures. Who knows what I'll find to help me remember the day?
Another week I'll check out "Mary Ann Currier: Floral Drawings", a still life exhibition by local artist Mary Ann Currier. I love her paintings because they remind me of Old Dutch Masters, like this one--Face Downward. Later in the fall I have tickets for an Iris DeMent concert at Kentucky Country Day School Theater. Iris is a singer/songwriter with country and folk influences. She's not exactly top 40, but hangs out with some pretty tall company like Emmylou Harris, John Prine, and James Taylor. She's also an acquired taste as you can hear from this performance of "Our Town" with harmonies by Emmylou:
So, I'm looking forward to these solo adventures, plus others still to be discovered. Poking around in the past, beautiful art, and music that reminds me of my roots. All good Quiet Places for me to escape and renew the spirit.