my practice of solitude

My practice of solitude consists of times like this when I descend two flights of stairs from our bedroom to the writing desk in the basement. It consists of driving north for three hours into the woods with a stack of old journals and spending two days pouring myself over recollections from the past while trying to imagine the future and listening to moose splash in a pond nearby. It consists of listening to the entirety of the Lizzo album en route to a gig, and listening to it again on the way home after. It consists of walking with my dogs by the river; they are others, but we have an agreement whereby they respect my solitude and in exchange I cover all their basic needs in life. It’s fifteen minute pockets of time on the floral print chair reading from whatever book is sitting on the windowsill nearby. It’s building a bonfire at 11:00pm and feeding it and staring at it for an hour until my mind is less bursting with thoughts. It’s going to the mailbox to fetch the mail and pausing on the way back for a deep breath at the end of a hefty day at work. It’s that moment when I stand still enough to catch a glimpse of my self in the peripheral of my soul and I chuckle at me, with kindness, upon realizing that, yet again, I’ve begun taking things too seriously. Solitude is where that moment of personal levity connects with an accurate sense of the world’s gravity. I stand up from the desk in the basement and stride into the day to brush my practice of solitude against the whole fellowship of earthy relations.