I want to be honest with you because I want to be honest with myself. Of the things I believe deep down define me, very few are currently making it into my twenty-four hours. And this is more and more troubling.
I'm a writer. Did you know that?
I told you?
Well. Technically a writer is one who writes and, well... this is pretty much it, kiddos. I've got this and I've got a (lovingly & generously designed) database full of snippets and ideas. It's meant to be a virtual library of my work, but right now it's pretty much just a sieve. And while I'm grateful every idea doesn't wash down the drain, I am also starting to feel a bit panicky about the fact that I'm more of an idea-er than a writer.
Why'm I telling you this?
So that it is told.
Tomorrow I go into the woods alone for approximately ninety-six hours of silence. For wilderness. For dirt and rain and wind. For glorious, glorious silence. Last June I went on a similar retreat for two days and didn't speak the whole time - well, I slipped to greet a dog. I didn't want him to think I wasn't happy to see him, so the sounds just popped out of my mouth. But I felt restored by those two days in a deep, fundamental way. This year, I'm upping the dosage. For someone who absorbs as much as I do and who is as busy as I seem to be all twenty-four hours of each of my days and who spends hours and hours each week with live rock music, silence is a balm.
I will be silent.
I will be alone.
I will be unwebbed.
I will be unplugged.
I think I will probably even bury all time-telling implements in the ground (with a treasure map for when I have to leave again) and live by the sun and the full moon.
I have no idea what conclusions I will come to, if any, while I am out there. But I know I will hear my heartbeat in my ears.