amazing short film by Andrea Dorfman this week called How to Be Alone (you should watch it because it's really, really great) and it got me to thinking about being alone and whether I truly know how to REALLY be alone anymore.
I know this question is not new, and that I am not the only one asking (hah, the irony, that I am not alone... ;))
I mean, the quick answer is I am alone most the time. My husband goes off to work, and my kids go off to school, and most days, unless I have a client in my paid-work world (er, that sounds like I am a street walker, I am really just a divorce mediator) I am reading alone, or writing alone, or swimming, usually alone.
But then I started thinking about how much my life has changed in the past few years -- about how much time I spend emailing or playing on facebook and all. And I realize that the new me is rarely "alone" and, perhaps forgetting how to be.
The old me used to write with a lovely, uninterrupted quiet that permeated the house and my brain and my soul, while the new me writes with facebook open on one screen and gmail open on the other, and takes constant breaks to skim back and forth between the two. The new me, leaves the computer occasionally, but takes my cell phone instead, constantly checking for that friendly wave or "ping." Sure, I still get my writing done, but there's a noise to all that, a chatter, and I wonder if there's a price tag to it, too.
As a kid, I spent hours a day lying around with nothing but my own self and a book; no other music, no friends, no other sound. It's some of the fondest time I remember. I fear we've lost that ability; that we've all lost sight of the beauty of being alone.
So for the next few days, with a nod to Andrea and her gorgeous little film, I'm going to try to unplug and shut down, and see if I still remember how. You know, to REALLY be alone.