It was nice to be among people for awhile yesterday. I am not the only one who lives “Out” as they like to call us, those who come in periodically and stock up on supplies, to disappear again for days or weeks at a time. I appreciate that I am not technically a hermit, but it is the closest description I can come up with. Or at least the most succinct. “Tired of the bullshit social and economic system forced upon us daily and would really prefer the company of nature” is a little verbose.
Kaiju is great, and I can always blow Chet back up, and I love my books and hobbies and daily survival chores. But I miss having a partner in crime. A best friend. I realized this after being single for a number of years. It’s not a husband, or a roommate, or a lover that I miss the most. It is the best friend who listens to whatever has me wound up on a given day; who brings me a Blizzard from Dairy Queen when I’m having a bad day; who will drop everything to go shopping or skating or on a road trip with me from time to time. My husbands were both my best friends. I have left other best friends behind. I lost one to growing apart; another to envy and betrayal; another to an ill-conceived love affair; and another is too far away, although always close in my heart.
This is one of my reasons for living Out. It is easier to be without a companion because of geography than scarcity. It’s like being in Baskin Robbins without a single flavor you would eat, or simply choosing to be away from it all so that ice cream is not even an option. So I create my own little universe here, on a 2 acre plot in the Rocky Mountains. Sometimes I dream of the impossible. But for the most part I try to remain in the present, and appreciate what I do have around me.
So today, I will appreciate my dog, and my surroundings, and the soothing aspects of solitude. And consider creating an imaginary best friend. I never had one as a kid, so maybe it’s time. And I wouldn’t be the first person to create an imaginary friend, whether due to geography or scarcity, right?
I miss Chet. Even a staring, expressionless punching bag is better than being utterly alone. Well, maybe not. At least I have my dog.
I spent the morning cutting and sanding one of the larch stumps that came out of the cabin footprint when I built it. It sat outside over the winter but has dried up nicely this spring, so it was ready to become something completely new. I’m not sure what it’s going to be yet. At the right moment it will look like something other than a stump, and then I will just follow its lead and take it where it wants to go. If only humans were so prescient.
I will go into town this afternoon. It is time for some human contact, some time on my laptop with free wi fi, and pick up some supplies. Maybe a drink at Charlie’s, then back home for an evening fire outdoors. It is still cool enough for a fire in the evening. I can play fetch with my dog, Kaiju, and tire him out that way.
I am starting to lose that antsy feeling that I should be somewhere or doing something other than what I am doing. I can’t remember when I last felt this way, at least besides holidays. Sometimes I find myself just sitting, letting my mind wander, and minutes later I have been sitting in one spot, contentedly fiddling with a stick, or a flower, or adding wood to the stove. This is one of the things that I am here for: for time to pass at its own pace, instead of wrestling it to slow down or speed up or whatever my whim of the moment demands.
Today is quiet. Too quiet. I wonder if I should head into town today. It is sunny but cool as spring days can be. I could check on the bees or work on the henhouse but I feel more like going to sit at a coffee shop and letting the idle chatter of other humans wash over me so that I feel like part of their tribe. It would be nice to have a neighbor. Someone close, but not too close. I could drive over and lean on the fence as we commiserate about the weather, what we will be planting, maybe even what we are reading. Chet doesn’t really have strong views on any of these things. Or at least he doesn’t verbalize them.
What to do. It’s only been five days without human contact. I don’t even like most people. Why do I miss them? A person can be lonely in a room full of people, or solitary but not lonely. I’m here because I was lonely surrounded by people. Maybe I will stick it out alone today. See how I feel tomorrow. I can always immerse myself in a book. Perhaps something whimsical and fun like Nietzsche or Tolstoy. Or make something out of one of the tree stumps we pulled out of the cabin footprint.
I can’t believe I haven’t posted anything since October. I have been back in school taking Creative Writing at the University of Montana. It has been inspiring, fun, invigorating, and, occasionally, still terrifying.
I have met new friends, who already feel like old friends. I have discovered and been buoyed by the support of existing friends to an extent I would never have dreamed. I am living smack in the middle of one of the most beautiful natural landscapes in the world, and it is home. My family remains batshit crazy, but it is supportive and loving and accepting. This is more than many people have, I think.
I am home now in Canada where I will be able to spend three weeks with my boys. I have time to work on my furniture business, with the goal of increasing sales on my Etsy shop, and regular participation in handcraft fairs and events. I am applying for the MFA program in Creative Writing at the University of Montana, to commence next September.
I have had moments where I was terrified and ready to give up. But for me, giving up now only means temporarily getting a real job and spending more time in Regina. This is the magic of having taken the leap that I did. I know I can do it again, start again, detour, pitstop, take a breather, if need be. But I know that I am where I need to be. And, wonder of wonders, I give myself pep talks. I read through old blog posts, and the confident, accepting, wise person that I sometimes am tells me to keep going, that I have been there before and I will be there again.
I do go places now, not just on trips.
The flashing neon sign was off last night. Perhaps a trail of breadcrumbs next?
Just a brief summary of my week:
Go on Tinder – meet a real human being. Weird.
Go to Missoula with kids – look at a rental house that I can`t walk all the way into because of the bad energy I feel and go running out. I am now convinced that a. reincarnation exists, and b. I lived in Missoula in another life (I shit you not). Tell current love interest that I think I am the reincarnated soul of Sacagawea. A girl can dream.
Have best vacation ever in Missoula and find it hard to believe I will be moving there in a month.
I have the best kids ever. They make me more.
Meet a cool lady who asks me to live in her basement, a woman from Regina who is a server in Bigfork, and a couple whose daughter took creative writing at the University of Montana (SO FUCKING WEIRD)
Camp at the best campsite ever on the shore of Flathead Lake. Definitely died and went to heaven for a day.
Get home and find Divorce Certificate in mail. Weird that it`s not weird or even very important.
Happy to be me, here, and now. Weird and grateful.