Thursday, December 30, 2010

pole sitting

Somehow, I have slipped into religious training.

Or so it seems.

I am well on my way to becoming a hermit.  Steve the Stylite.  Up on his Monty Python pole.

I didn't plan it this way. 

Anyone who knows me very well would not peg me for the reclusive type.  Social Guy would be more like it.  I love being around people.  Being in the middle of things that people like to do.

But anyone who did a rewind of this past week would see a bit of discordance between the Steve I think I am and how he has spent his time.

On at least three days this past week (not counting my flu days), I did not leave the confines of my little monastery. 

No one is in the upper level of my duplex.  So, if I do not walk out my gate, I am on my own.

It is not as if I am in solitary confinement.  In a certain sense, my little compound is the Garden of Eden -- without the temptation of forbidden fruit.  I want for nothing.

A beautiful garden where I can sit and read.  Or sit and eat.  Or sit.  Or, better yet, lie in the hammock and not even have the strain of sitting.

When I get hungry, I can whip up any type of food I like with some of my more exotic culinary purchases from this last month.  And, if I run out of anything, I do not have to step into the world.  I can have it all delivered.  Just like a baby delivered to a nunnery.  (I will confess, though.  I have not sunk to the point of not doing my own shopping.)

With my Kindle, I will never run out of books.  With the internet, I will not lose contact with the outside world -- including my morning doses of news from the slightly monotone Oregon Public Broadcasting.

But, as much as I enjoy the solitude, my hermetic days are not going to be the norm.

I too much enjoy the rhythm of my community. 

Stretching my Spanish with Ivan, the young man who delivers my water, and with Dora, the bringer of maidly things.  Learning new words from Hector, the waiter at La Rana.  Not to mention my friends and acquaintances at my church -- and with a new community project that has caught my interest.

As soon as I get situation and as soon as we can get past Christmas, I am going to head out on the road again.  This time, unfortunately, without a travel companion.  Probably up and down the Pacific coast -- and up into the highlands.

There is a legend about a hermit by the name of Alypius.  He was one of those hermits who stood on a pillar as part of his hermitage.  He stood there for 53 years.  Then his feet gave out.  Instead of descending, he stayed up another 14 years lying on his side.

I am no Alpius.  There is far too much to see in this country for me to spend time sequestered in my garden.

Even though Casa Nanaimo would make a practically perfect hermitage -- in every way.


Lauriematherne said...

I am enjoying a few weeks off from my regular routine although I am still doing some days of "mission" work, although not at our site. And being a hermit a bit too. It's quite peaceful, isnt' it? However, I am ready for an adventure, too. Probably heading up a mountain near the city today just because I can.

1st Mate said...

Hmmm, you have to wonder who delivered meals to Alpius, and where he got the dinero for tips.

I read yesterday that it's possible to determine how social a person is by measuring his/her amygdala, that very important little gland at the base of the skull. I know yours is extra-large economy size, and if you're playing hermit you are simply recharging for your next foray.

Hope you make it this far up the coast, we'd love to see you.

Steve Cotton said...

It is so easy to fall into a routine of sitting in the garden with a good book on the Kindle. But there are places to see, and I need to get out there.

Steve Cotton said...

Enjoy your outing. I have a memorial service this morning for a friend who died this past summer.

Teresa Freeburn said...

is your little hermitage the place you lived in before you came back to the states? i would love to someday have a few days of solitude-i think eveyone needs them once in a while, even those of us who love to interact with others. so just enjoy your time to youself because pretty soon you will be constantly on the go. the quiet times gives us a little bit of balance in relation to the busy ones.

it's 23 deg. here and the roads are very icy. one town got 5 inches and yesterday there was so much snow in some areas that one of our major thoroughfares had to close down for a while. guess i'm staying home again today, but i've got plenty to do to keep me busy.

have a great day!