About Me

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Recent retiree--35 year's experience teaching reading, English, adult basic education and volunteer leadership skills. Started this blog to exchange ideas and commentary with friends and others having an interest in joining the discussions. Greatest life accomplishments include: 1.organized my 3rd grade class to check out library books for me to get around librarian's weekly limit--Amazon.com, the Mullins Elementary 3rd Grade Class of 1956 is still waiting for "thank you" notes; 2. volunteered in the Peace Corps, island of St. Kitts, West Indies; 3.taught adults to read, earn their GEDs., and speak English as a second language; 4. bought a border collie puppy for $6, got evicted rather than give him up, and began a life-long love affair with all things "Dog"; 5. joined a physical fitness boot camp in my mid-50s--don't mess with someone who's been doing regulation pushups in wet grass at 5:30 a.m.; 6. walked across Northern England with best friend Sally--over 80 miles from the Irish to North Seas; and 7. travelled to many foreign countries for pleasure and work.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Fun Monday - The Hermit

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.


Sayre said...

I like the idea of Artist's Dates! I used to do stuff like that but once I got the boy, things changed. I'm looking forward to the days when he doesn't need me as much and I can go out into the world on my own again.

I used to take an extra day when work sent me somewhere for a conference and explore. I loved my days of walking Washington DC and spending hours in the National Art Gallery without someone tugging my arm asking if it's lunch time yet. Las Vegas wasn't as soul-satisfying but a total departure from my "real" life.

Enjoy your days of quietude. One day, I will enjoy some too.

Jill said...

I wish I weren't so backward and shy. I do enjoy a lot of things my husband doesn't. But it would be branching out on my own in a public sphere and it means possible humiliation. What if the car won't start, what if I trip and fall on my face, etc. I don't get much quiet these days, but I wish I was independent enough to seek it out like you do!

Jan n Jer said...

Artist's dates, what a great idea! I agree with the concept. Sometimes you do have more freedom when you go alone. I treasure my alone time, but after a while I am ready for company. Great post Faye and happy FM

Molly said...

As usual, you have an intersting interpretation of today's task Faye. I sense a intense renewal of spirit in your Quiet Places with Artists Dates, visits to the Fall Antiques Market, and the other events.

Faye said...

sayre--exploring a place like DC on your own when sent there for work is a great perk. DC and its National Gallery is the best place to ramble alone or with one good tour guide like my friend from Baltimore.

jill--take baby steps. It is frightening to go out on your own at first, but soon becomes really satisfying.

janis--luckily we have room for both solo flights and buddy trips!

molly--thanks. The Artist Dates are such a good way to pursue interests that your friends or family members may not share.

The Church Lady said...

Oh how I love to be in my home -- alone (no kids or husband, but Cooper can stay!) I think I enjoy it the most when I have quality time alone with my house!

Enjoy these lovely Fall days and your art scapes, Faye!

Debs said...

I love Antiques Fayres, but we only get a few over here. At the last one I found a 1931 fold up camera for my daughter and a 1914-1918 mug for my shed.

My quiet place is the shed or down on one of the two beaches near our house.

Pamela said...

really cool. If it wasn't quiet you were looking for, then I'd offer to keep you company. ha ha