Dixie Darr

Archive for the ‘solitude’ Category

Meet Market

In solitude on June 22, 2017 at 7:29 am

I am not a people person, as I’ve said before, although I probably like you quite a bit. It’s those masses of strangers, especially in big crowds, that make me want to run home and hide, locking the door behind me. My nieces used to call me Auntie Social.

I spend about 94% of my time alone (I did the math), yet I almost never feel lonely. Time spent with friends at church or the gym or occasional meals and meetings are times I look forward to, but I also look forward to going home to my sanctuary, my solitude.

I know most people don’t feel the same. Some people can’t stand being alone. Worse, just the thought of going to a restaurant or a movie or a concert alone scares the bejeebers out of them. I don’t know why. Maybe they don’t read.

I always have a book with me – actually 600+ books on my Kindle – and with a book, I always have companionship.

Rebecca Solnit, author of The Lonely City, describes loneliness as feeling “unhappy as a result of being without the companionship of others.” And Paul Tillich said, “Loneliness expresses the pain of being alone and solitude expresses the glory of being alone.” I’ll take the glory, please.

I’ve been thinking about this since Amazon announced its plan to deliver groceries. I belong to Amazon Prime, but the grocery store is one of the few places I still go. With few exceptions, I do almost all my shopping online. I even conduct my library business online, only going to the library to pick up and return books.

Isaac Asimov wrote a novel, The Naked Sun, part of his robot series, about people who never came into contact with other people physically because they were too afraid of germs. I don’t want to live in that world, if only because I would have to give up hugs.

I understand that grocery delivery offers a welcome convenience to some people and some circumstances. For me, though, I’ll continue to mingle in real life at King Soopers and Sprouts and choose my own provisions.

I can’t spend ALL my time alone.

Every Day is a Holiday

In solitude, spirituality on May 25, 2017 at 9:36 am

I won’t be spending Memorial Day or any other holiday in the foreseeable future with family. My brother and sister-in-law are the only family I have left here in Colorado except for a few miscellaneous cousins on Facebook. The truth is that I don’t really celebrate holidays. Since I no longer work, a holiday is just like any other day, but the library is closed.

When we moved to Denver on my third birthday, my dad said it was to get away from family. He also said it was to escape all the drinking, although since relatives were doing the drinking, it amounts to the same thing. So I grew up without any extended family and believing that family was not necessarily a good thing. I have no memories, fond or otherwise, of family holidays. I suspect I spent them reading in my room.

In my thirties and forties, I spent holidays with friends. I remember those mostly as an excuse to get high, and I don’t do that anymore.

These days, I normally resist any well-meaning efforts to involve me in someone else’s family dramas. While I adore spending time with one or two friends, after a couple of hours, I get a little frantic to escape back to my hermitage, my cat, and my books. I can take people, even those I love, only in measured doses.

Monday I will probably take a walk, read, write, nap with Radley, and read some more. Please don’t begrudge me my solitude. You may be surprised to learn that many women (it’s always women) who hear I’m spending a holiday alone tell me, “that sounds heavenly.”