Transcribed Unedited Notebook Notes From a Month of Solitude
ORA – DAY 1 (arrival)
Beautiful drive; clear, sunny, dry, wide open. Lots to learn. Picked my room. Have a lot of hope and high expectations for myself. Some nerves, but mostly I just wanna be alone.
feels a lot like déja vue
a woman alone is grounded; able to move and pause as she feels.
a woman alone is generous to herself.
Studying the rituals of
‘her body was free to follow its own rules: a long-legged gait too fast for companionship’ (Prodical S. 2)
‘She kept to her own thoughts then, touching them like smooth stores deep in a pocket’ (18)
When you can hear yourself breathe you remember to……
ORA – DAY 2
A busy one: lots of preparing – to leave and to stay. Just stoked the fire solo for the first time. Only cursed three or four times. It is very quiet. Just the air blowing thru the vents. I’m living with ladybugs…
Lady Chatterly’s Lover – Connie
‘…like so many modern men, he was finished almost before he had begun’
it had hit her in the
middle of her body
it lay inside her
growing with each passing moment of solitude
hearing yourself breath
a lone wolf by choice
Nietzsche … solitude … Zarathustra…
• seclusion as spiritual strengthening
• Siddhartha Gautama (passes from safety/luxury to reality/hardship through solitude to enlightenment and then returns)
• monk on a mountain
• WISDOME THROUGH SOLITUDE
(the stars last night brought me to my knees – there is no way to describe such breathtaking depth)
historically, it is men who are awarded desired solitude. it is a selfish thing that brings one in touch with the self and allows for self-improvement and a readjustment of priorities.
We worship independence but fear alienation. We desire to be recognized in order to feel legitimate.
sleep is nature’s way of ensuring
ORA DAY 3
Last night the stars put me to the ground. Snowshoed the trail alone today. Veered away at one point – the sun was low, trees shadows long and so, so quiet. Fire went down to 43 but I got it up again with a good stoke. Worked. Not quite enough, but well. Nights are the only thing that’s taking a toll. Didn’t sleep well (too hot, coughing, too quiet…I think…). I just want the days right now. Especially the mornings
ORA DAY 4
Days are already melding together. The sound of my voice speaking to others was strange to me today. I could really hear it. I tried walking into town but I left at three – the sun sets at 5:30 and the roads are narrow and slick with snow. Got some work done. Not enough reading. Need to both pace and push myself.
ORA DAY 5
Already I am aware that if I wasn’t writing down the date every day I’d loose track of time. I wrote some good short think pieces today. I am beginning to gather my momentum with this experience. I am also aware of how quickly this time will pass. I am growing accustomed to the silence and subtle sounds of winter. The air is incredibly crisp. I wept alone in the woods today…
ORA DAY 6
Hit a hump today. Woke up down after another rough sleep. Took care of some errands, came back ready to disappoint myself with a throw-away-day, but ended up working. Wrote some stuff I liked. Tested the Go Pro camera then wrote some more. Still haven’t fit enough reading in, but I feel I will. Every day begins with at least half an hour of Violette Leduc. Begun work on my website. Feeling apprehensive about how I’ll make it what I want. But it feels possible – which is good.
A woman alone is internally curious, her body modular and free to track its own habits. Once doubt is awarded passage through an exit wound that wasn’t there before, necessary adjustments can be made so she will become receptive to her own thoughts. A narrow passageway dispatches the smooth surfaces into being: reinvented through intervention.
It is alluring and impossibly unified, reinforced by the subtly defiant architecture of a confined and chaotic space. If approved, the wobbly vibration may enter at the balls of her feet, running the length of her legs, gathering steam as it shoots sharply into her core and then dissipates abruptly before reaching her head. It is this very lack that drives her – like Déjà vu sustained and without source; like being granted access to the gnarled entrance hall of a burrowing invertebrate.
With such a long-legged stride she was considered too fast for companionship. Although dour to admit, she feels it for what it is: a clearing out of what is no longer required. With this, a spillage and slippage of what was once contained, she is finally able to focus. Basking in diffracted rays she takes advantage of this entanglement of intuition and cognition and redistributes her energy. What results is confident, odd and odorless, charged with intimacy and firmly bound in an amorous dance with itself.
ORA DAY 7
Missed this day. Too much going on that refused my rhythm.
ORA DAY 8
Had fun but felt guilty, or mostly anxious, most of the time. The weekend’s can be easily wasted if not planned properly. The work around the house is satisfying in its own way but I am selfish: I want all of time to myself.
ORA DAY 9
I find myself capable of detecting the movement of the forest. Not only tracks, scat and worn tree trunks, but the behavior of the snow and the sound of the cold. The trail is different every day, in a subtle way that I would only notice from frequent contact. Today I followed a coyote; yesterday deer; and every day the woodpecker.
ORA DAY 10
I’m beginning to find these entries less and less useful. Too much self-consciousness can detract from existing in the moment. I am entering production; allowing it to enter me. Joy is not sustained, nor do I wish it to be.
ORA DAY 12
Spent all of today on one piece. Spent part of yesterday on it too. Will spend tomorrow and the day after and every other day on it until I have what I want. I know I am slow and I know it will be decades until I feel a firm and steady grasp on my craft.
ORA DAY 13
This experience is more of a personal, healing journey then I could ever have predicted and more than I ever would have hoped. My spiritual findings feed into an intellectual process. It feels exciting in one moment and then I loose the ability to feel lit at all. This place is regenerating and generative. I hope the affects will be lasting…
Keep yourself, your perspective, context, desires, fears, what you like and don’t like in mind; especially when viewing the work.
Below is an article written during my stay at Owl Ridge Acres