Poetry and personal blog – Spilling my guts to strangers

Part-Time Hermit

Sometimes I go through certain phases. Right now I am in a phase where  I’m on overload, which is weird because I have an abundance of solitude and quiet.

But the quiet is good and the overload is not a bad thing, at least I don’t think so. It is what it is. The quiet and the overload feed off each other. The more quiet I have the more I’m able to think clearly, and the more clearly I’m able to think, the more ideas I have. The higher the ideas pile up, the more I want to be alone to sort them out.

Or is this the beginnings of a descent into madness?

Aren’t creative people sometime thought to be mad? Is creativity a type of madness?

If I could stay in the house for a while to do creative things–perhaps for a year or so–maybe I would. Maybe I’d like to be a hermit. With a laptop.

Hermits. Secluded by choice. They live in caves or hovels. Where do they get their food?

I couldn’t be a complete hermit: Not only am I not fond of caves or hovels, I don’t like the idea of hunting or gathering. If I were a hermit, I’d at least need someone to deliver my groceries. Or maybe I’d go shopping for myself after work, because I’d have to work to be able to afford the food. And the internet access. For research purposes. And maybe just a bit of social networking. Just a little. I’d go offline for a certain amount of time each day.

Do hermits watch television, have cell phones? Domesticated pets? Neighbors?

Part-time hermits do. Like me. In our minds, though, we’re hardcore hermits building imaginary walls. And we keep up the charade until we feel like being something else.

© Sweepy Jean and Sweepy Jean Explores the (Webby) World, 2011

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Comments on: "Part-Time Hermit" (41)

  1. Pretty funny post but you make a great observation! I think our creativity is the door we walk through to get out of insanity. I am not a hermit but I do swing between wanting to be alone and wanting a crowd around me lol.

    http://jpweddingphotograpy.blogspot.com/2011/09/photographing-sunsets-at-key-west.html

  2. i like this post weather it be walls or fences keeping people out some time is a good thing but not for me i want to live in this world but some time to just write would be great. thank you for your thoughts and god bless

  3. Sorry I just wanted to say I tweeted and stumbled

  4. Adriene: we are turning into the hermit like lifestyle, where many of our social needs are met through one electronic doohicky or another. Bradbury wrote about it in the 50’s in Fahrenheit 451, and Asimov did it throughout his Robot and Foundation books (those two authors always leap to mind).

    We don’t need caves anymore. My hermitage has a nice comfy rocking chair!!

  5. Creative people sometimes are thought to be mad… (I guess that explains me) I am also one of those people that get so many ideas running around my head … that I often have to hide to figure them out. I used to think it was a bad thing.. But after 30 some yrs.. I’ve learned to deal with it..

    Creative minds are rarely tidy my slogan….

    Being a part time hermit sound about right…. but after being a hermit (a charade of course) what could you move on to be the extreme opposite ? Social Butterfly ?

    Loved reading your article
    Thanks for sharing with us

  6. I am thinking of Thoreau and Walden. I find solitude is a precious commodity, one we don’t usually savor or even notice until it’s unavailable.

  7. I like the idea of a hermit with a laptop…but then you still get to see the world, don’t you? 🙂

  8. YES…creatitivity is a type of madness. There are days that I do not leave my house or even the span of three rooms in the house. If I am in the work (creative zone) and I have all of the needed supplies…I become a hermit to the world and focus on what needs to be expressed and produced. Sometimes, I do not even sit or listen to music. It’s just me, the design table and eventually the art!

  9. creative people are insane…I wrote a post about it on my blog, Writers or eccentrics…you have made a similar point friend. Being a part-time hermit is fun.Enjoyed reading your post.

  10. I consider myself to be vague and eccentric at times…and I guess you are no different..Good post.

  11. My creative self is in a constant state of overwhelm. Some days I am bold and brilliant and living loud, other days I am buried in a corner. I think that is part of the creative’s process. It’s how we roll.

    • It’s so weird that I have been writing for most of my like but I am only in the last few years understanding what that means and accepting it. It’s nice to know that there are others out there like me.

  12. My brain can stand the overload as long as I can shut down totally once in a while. That gives me fresh energy to create then. 😀

  13. We are cyber hermits. But isn’t that contradictory since we can connect sometimes more and better online? This post has me thinking hermitically. Is that a word? Probably not. See what you started Sweepy?!!! 🙂

    http://lyricfire.typepad.com/lyric-fire/2011/09/lyric-fire-look-at-my-fabulous-life-episode-7-.html

    • Ah, you hit on an interesting point. It does seem like we can make strong connection online, but I’m a skeptic as to how they stack up against real life interaction. Online is definitely more accessible, there’s always someone there …

  14. I loved the last part… “do hermits have cell phones etc… well firstly i myself enjoy being a hermit…A hermit on my own terms!
    Enjoy the quiet time and be a hermit on your own terms!

  15. I hear you Adrienne. I’m a very gregarious person but I love time on my own. I love to retreat, though the family always think this is dangerous. I usually come up with a new idea or plan when I have space to think. But I do need to see people too. I want to have my cake and eat it.

  16. Fellow hermit here. Those who want to see me have to enter my cave – although they are not always welcome. I’ve been known to hide in the back of the cave and pretend to not be home. It’s getting bad ;-( This reclusiveness. But I’ve heard it said that real writers find it necessary to limit their social lives. Because they too busy creating to waste time on small talk – yes?
    My cave is pretty neat though, with internet and TV. And I get to visit my bloggy friends, so I don’t feel so isolated. This post made me feel SO at home!

    • Yeah, I definitely am feeling the need to limit right now and probably more so control my social environment. In addition to needing the space to create, it’s also the need to protect the raw emotion that lives on the surface. Coming out of the cave can is good too, when time is right. You’re always welcome here, Debra. My cave es su cave! ;P ❤

  17. I thought I could be a hermit, until you brought up some valid points. I love the quiet and being alone, yet I do require nourishment and would not enjoy hunting gathering either. I wouldn’t mind the cave so much, but I would want to see my grans sometimes. So for now I will remain where I am.

  18. Interesting post since I have been at home unemployed and in kinda solitude (not hermit) for 4 weeks. It’s been weird, great, depressing, insightful, sad, productive, secluded, craving attention, wanting to be alone too much perhaps, etc…And Monday I start a part-time job. The best of both worlds – who knows?

    • That probably will be good for you, Janine. You’ll get to be around people but still have plenty of time to do your other pursuits. It’s nice to have the flexibility. Good luck on the new job!

  19. I sometimes need to be on my own. Just to be myself again. I like it, actually. I could be a hermit for a few days, maybe a few weeks. But I would need my internet connection. And my music.

    • I’m with you on all counts; gotta have my music, too! I find that alone time is very healing, especially when other aspects of my life are not so quiet. You put it so well: “Just to be myself again.”

  20. Ah yes.. the great descent into madness! I have been spending time with my thoughts… and sometimes… what is really there is enough to drive you mad! I think most of the world is mad.. and angry.. and crazy.. and one of the biggest reasons, is because we never hermit. We rarely spend time alone with our thoughts… many of us are afraid of them. But when we do spend time, and we do confront that descent into madness… we may be able to find something truly wonderful.. be it creativity.. or even a fresh love of life! ;0)

    • I so agree. How many of us constantly feel the need to be around people, to run around doing errands, anything but be quiet and alone to think? It’s hard to just enjoy what life has to offer if we don’t slow down enough to process our experiences. xox

  21. I don’t think I could ever be a hermit. I absolutely love my alone time, but I’m a social creature, I eventually need the interaction. I could fool myself and say I’m only bringing my computer along to my hermitdom because I need it for writing, but like you, I’d be sneaking a little time on to social media and then it all goes to hell! lol

  22. I laughed when I saw the picture of the hermit crab at the end of your post. I don’t know about you, but I do think that being a writer is a hermetic existence, by it’s very nature it needs to be so in my opinion. Nice to connect with you on Twitter. I hope you will be so kind as to check out my sites as well. Peace to you and yours.

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