Sunday Secret

I require an alarming amount of alone time. If I weren’t so needy I’d mistake myself for a brooding yet helpful loner. I love my little circle of people but, periodically, I retreat behind a glowy curtain of stillness.

That’s what I crave the most: stillness, quiet. MAYBE some Django Reinhart or Chet Baker or Taj Mahal or that first dreamy Norah Jones album or certain Van Morrison in the background but overall I like to hear the breeze or the sound of kids really really really far away, laughing and playing. A squeal of delight here or there. Nothing more.

If I were honest, I’d admit that my relationship with sound is shaky. I think that’s why I crave vast stretches of simpleness. Walks, tea, books (the right books; quiet books), pens, words, the people who treat me kind.

If I told you how much unkind noise I’ve had in my life you wouldn’t believe me.

But finally, at 50, I understand my need for solitary confinement. I’ve come to know that it represents my true instinct for self-preservation, an instinct I’ve spent the better part of my life harassing. So now when I feel it coming over me—like the way it feels when you become aware that you’re drifting off to sleep and your thoughts start jumping and popping all over the place—I just make sure to loosen up and make time for lots of NON-self loathing and I say to myself everything is going to be A-Okay and then I open the door and flash my brightest smile and I say, Well HELLO beloved, wise Slothy—nice to see you again. Why don’t you come on in, make yourself at home, take your jacket off and stay awhile.

Yours In Nothing,
Queen of Quiet

22 Comments on "Sunday Secret"

  1. I am known as Underdog in my house for my keen sense of hearing. I also am driven batsh*t by certain sounds and have to employ headphones from time to time to maintain my sanity.

  2. aw, wow.
    you had me from the first line.
    I have always wondered about myself…….I love the rain, I love being alone, I love the quiet. Not exactly popular with everyone.
    Loved this.

  3. joann mannix says:

    I am a solitary girl. So solitary, I sometimes dream of living in a shack in the woods, where I could scribble down words all day long. It’s a tough fantasy when you have a husband, 3 kids, 3 dogs, 2 ducks and a ridiculously large extended family who like to be together all the time.

    Silences is golden and sparkly and I believe the mythical unicorns can be found prancing about in the Land of Silence. It is a beautiful thing.

    And I would believe you, about the unkind noise. You and I, we come from the same sort of place, I think.

    Gorgeous, as always, Cupcake. I need to get back to the blog world more. I miss your lovely words.

  4. I don’t think I have ever had anyBODY ever put in words how I feel about my incredible need for quiet and alone time. I am not surprised you were able to do that because you put words together so wonderfully. I am a loner. I also wanted to tell you that I read, read again, read some more and continue to read your Sunday Secret post about being a Worrier. Again you said what I could not say myself. Both of these posts bring tears to my eyes. Ok kind of tears. I just wanted to thank you because when I am feeling like crap I come here and read The Worrier post and this post now and I don’t feel like crap and I feel like someone out there gets the quiet aloneness worrier thing that I live with. I don’t just come here when I feel like crap. You have been in my reader a long time. I have been reading you a long time. I thought it was time to thank you. I am taking my worry thing to new heights this summer.

  5. The introvert/extravert spectrum is a fascinating thing.

    I am on the extravert side, but not at the far end. Alone time can be helpful for me.

    It sounds like you are a very sensitive person (I think of myself this way, too)….I am very affected by my environment. If someone is upset near me I have to try to fix it (even though that’s not always helpful/healthy).

    • Cupcake Murphy says:

      I’m a Recovering Fixer but I swear to Bozo the Clown if there is a person with unusually bad boundaries and a heap o’ unresolved issues they’ll seek me out and ask me to cook them supper.

  6. MidLyfeMama says:

    My husband spends a lot of his every day time alone. Even though he works in a cube, near a lot of other cube dwellers, he is not forced to interact with them often, sometimes not at all. He does not answer phones for customers, or even emails for customers. He programs. Alone.

    I spend my day listening to other people. Problem solving. Talking to people. Then I pick up a 5 year old who is bubbly and perky and has 4305 questions about exactly 4305 things, all asked within the 8 minutes it takes to get home. I know the math does not support this as being possible, but we like to defy the laws of physics in our car.

    Then we are home, with two yapping dogs, window air conditioners which right now rumble and shake the entire window just enough that my bat ears pull in on themselves and I get just a little irrationally irritable. At least irrational to those who seem impervious to the sonic wail that is going on.

    Alone hardly ever happens in my life. But alone, quiet, is something I so very very very very much need. I had a sick day last week and it was so niiiiice.

  7. Cupcake Murphy says:

    You are so freaking funny. p.s. be careful. window air conditioners can come to life and kill you.

  8. PJ says:

    I so frequently wear my Cloak of Invisibility for such extended periods of time that people I know are prone to use my name when they play the Dead or Alive game.

  9. Amen. Thank you for speaking for all of us Sisters in Silent Solitude.

    Will you say a little about that gorgeous photo? I’ve been staring at it for a whole day and wanting to be THERE with that oak and the grass and the mountain. (Is it outside *your* cabin, maybe?)

    • Cupcake Murphy says:

      I took this in Yosemite Valley in October, last year. I was driving down that road that goes up the center of the Valley and the light reflecting off the trees was like GLOWING and I pulled over and took about fifty photos. Yosemite is so GRAND and this photo captures that (for me) from the inside out.

  10. Howling Robin says:

    The last three posts of yours are just more of the mounting evidence that you and I may have been separated at birth. Thanks especially for this one. Shhhh…

  11. Howling Robin says:

    Got the order wrong! This one and the following 2. Love every post, though!

  12. I heart you, Cupcake.
    Because now I won’t feel one ounce of bad for wanting to get in my car and just start driving. ALONE. For at least four days.