Solitude and Presence

ImageNo school this week.

My 15-year old is sleeping the morning away.

Husband’s at work.

Nothing to distract me from my inwardness.

I wander through blogs, adult and kid. Responding, leisurely. I get comfortable in aloneness.

Time for coffee.

Check the email.

Start a load of laundry.

Irritated by a phone call.

A book distracts me.

There went an hour.

A pile of files and a wet load of laundry, unmade bed and to be made Thanksgiving plans are tugging at me, telling me to hurry up and get to it.  But the November sunlight is streaming through my window, and that seat in the corner is calling.

Just a little longer, 30 minutes I tell myself, then I’ll get to work.

I wonder if this is how I should be spending my time. There is only so much of it. The comfort of aloneness is so attractive. When given the choice, I often take that road. Is because the school days are so full of humanity that I just need silence, or is this is my natural state?

When school is in session, my family respects my need to assess, realign and recharge, by leaving me alone, and going into their worlds.  All find it easy to slip into their separate virtual spaces.  We reconnect with food, entertainment, and technology — my daughter “stalking” her brothers on Facebook,  a stupid cat video.

Technology has pulled us towards those who share our passions, but at the same time pulled us away from those who are physically there and precious — our families. The lack of dependency of and on family and the hyper presence of our virtual community is the proverbial blessing and curse. Personally I have been blessed with support that has offered me so much as a teacher, a reader and — dare I say — writer. This was unimaginable less than a year ago. But time is finite, and therein lies the sneaky curse.  I watched a family at dinner. (I’m sure you have seen this same scene.) The two children with their iPads, adults checking their phones.  All in their own worlds, together.  We’re there physically, but not present. We’re connected elsewhere. Worrisome.

Time’s up.

Time to wake up my daughter.

She’ll probably scowl at me, but maybe I’ll get a hug. That sensory element is in short supply. It shakes me out of my solitude.

Time to be present.

I’m looking forward to eating with and hugging my family at Thanksgiving. One won’t be home, but we can connect virtually.

The blessings and curses of technology.

Blessings and virtual hugs to you SOLers. May you give yourself the time to hug and be present with those closest to you.