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ALSO is so, so good. Congrats on making a masterpiece!

Yeah, there is a real pull I feel to not being a religious nun but to wearing a voluminous black garment and thinking by myself. Though truthfully I'm not much for minimalism and simplicity. I'd want to be a nun surrounded by colorful objects (wait, maybe they are? maybe it's not all cold grey spaces like in the movies). But the promise of real solitude seems like a fantasy almost.

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Aw thank you so much 😭 And yes on the voluminous black robes. I’m *this* close to throwing out all my clothes and possessions and just having a closet of black muumuus. But alas, I also love colorful things and knick knacks, even though their existence means have to care about them and waste brain space. I will forever be torn.

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When I imagine a spare room, that sounds to me like a space my brain would waste, wondering how to cram in more things. It's not that I want clutter, necessarily, but I do like having objects, especially objects that hold memories. (I certainly know not everyone agrees!)

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Ugh, same. I have literally generations of objects I can not get rid of because they hold memories..even if they aren't mine! It is quite unsolvable given the fact that I long for a minimal life. Nice to know I'm not alone!

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I dream of having enough solitude to study the books that are piling up (classics, philosophy, socialism, etc), and then even more solitude to write the series of books I have dancing around in my own head. I used to have enough solitude to go on walks to the river, conversing with my characters as we sat watching the water slip past. Daily responsibility and increasing elder care has gradually tricked me into allowing that solitude to slip away like the water did.

I need to take back my ME moments.

Thank you for reminding me of the joy and creativity in solitude.

(Now that I think about it, solitude is a great name for a town...)

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May 23, 2023Liked by Julie Falatko

Carolyn, I too have loved river walks for thinking, and dream work on stories and poems. I also feel those stacks of books calling to be read.

My days of elder care have now ended, but I feel your exhaustion, and recognize that all of your necessary obligations take a great toll. These are not easy times to navigate. May you find moments of joy amidst the chaos. Wishing you all good things, Cathy

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A town called solitude would also be a great premise for a book/poem/song/movie.

My piles of books also are staring at me, begging me to carve out time to read them. I did try to read on Sunday, and never got more than 4 minutes of reading before I was interrupted.

I am wishing for you a chance to get back to you walks along the river, whether they are actually that or some other form of solitude that approximates your river walk.

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Julie! Thank you for reading ALSO! I’m so glad you enjoyed it enough to recommend. As you can guess, it was a book that came out of the very center of me, so it always means so much when another human connects with it. I’m really interested to seek out Nellie Wong. I actually thought I wanted to be a nun when I was a kid, which is hilarious because I was raised in a completely non (almost anti) religious family. But I see now that I was drawn to the solitude. I also secretly dream of being a mail carrier, maybe for the same reasons- walking and being alone. I can never get enough solitude, especially these days!

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Ha, I just realized I commented generally instead of replying to you.

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So well written, Julie. Love this post so much. I think I'll go build a blanket tent in my living room, sneak in a headlamp, and some not-too-crunchy snacks, and write stuff.

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This sounds like the BEST POSSIBLE solitude. I hope you do it!

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Love this post! I’ve found that conscious “activity” helps me make space for solitude and that paddleboarding is one of my instant relaxation/solitude inviters. I need to find a winter equivalent but I definitely plan on more paddleboarding this summer.

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I got a paddleboard last fall! I'm so excited to use it. I did it a few times before it got too cold. I get similar solitude in winter from cross country skiing.

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Oh yay! So excited for you! And I’ve wondered about cross-country skiing - I’ll have to give it a try this winter. Also I’ve wondered about snowshoeing too

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I also like snowshoeing! I like that you can go deep into the woods. But it's kind of awkward and clompy, whereas xc skiing is more swoosh swoosh rhythm which leads to the insights of solitude, like paddleboarding does. For me, at least.

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Ooh, that's a really good point. It really is about the rhythm!

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May 23, 2023Liked by Julie Falatko

Thanks for these thoughts on solitude. It's crucial to me. And I'm taking back lots of it as I leave my school job. I have a retreat coming up at Highlights in June, and that will be a wonderful mix of solitude and connection, but the one I'm looking forward to most is scheduled for August when normally I would be coming back to school to get things ready for the new year. Instead, I'll be in Kentucky at Cedars of Peace in a cabin on a road marked with a sign requesting no talking beyond this point. Further down this path is a meditation cabin and a labyrinth, and farm trails and wooded trails to hike, and nearby on the property, the sisters of Loretto, feisty and forward-thinking, and great examples of women living in solitude still changing the world.

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Cathy, that sounds INCREDIBLE. I'm bookmarking Cedars of Peace for if I ever get an opportunity to go on a full solitude getaway at any point.

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Hey Julie, we wrote about the same topic today!!! LOL. Thanks for all the great insights in this post. :)

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