Reentry II

I won’t lie. Two-thirds of the way through the residency, I began to wonder if/how I could live like this forever. I tested the fantasy out in my mind. How would I live in these two rooms for the long term? Could that closet be converted into a kitchenette? Could I live this creative monastic existence for a long time?

I was happy to see DP, but all the problems and tensions of my daily life came flooding back as I got back into my car next to him and went home. Now that I’m firmly re-entrenched in my life, I remember that I did live a creative monastic existence a decade ago.

I was in grad school, single, and writing. I did work, which put a major dent in my writing time, but other than that I lived on my own terms. Sounds romantic and lovely right? Nope. I was overworked, underfed, and lonely as fuck. I did get good work done, but that was the only thing in my life that was going well.

So now I live a more complicated life, you might say. I have to think more about other people. Sometimes I have to put down my writing to do something for someone else. But being with DP has also given me the confidence and the stability to go into the dark scary lonely places, because I know there will be someone there when I emerge blinking back into the light. And he cooks like a dream.

Are you tempted by monastic life?


6 responses to “Reentry II

  1. When I’m overbooked and have no time/motivation to write, the monastic life sounds perfect. When I have an entire day or weekend to write, I know I will begin to distract myself with other things by hour 2 or 3. Kudos to you for accomplishing anything at that residency — I would have written a little and socialized a lot.

  2. Not tempted in the least. As much as I love to be alone, I equally need to be with my people. Split personality. I can go away (even if it’s just in my mind, at home) for 2 or 3 weeks and write like mad, but then I need to escape my own company and let my inner-extrovert out.

  3. Sometimes I think back, not to a monastic life exactly, but rather to a time when there was so much less. It sounds fantastic to strip away everything and be left with time, but the reality is that I am romantisizing how hard and lonely that really was.
    I’m not a creature cut out for too much alone time. I need to bounce ideas off of people. And as crazy as the little people make me, and the lack of any time when it isn’t about them, I can’t imagine my life without them. So, well, I’d settle for an hour without a single, “Mo-om! Can you come here for a minute?”

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