"When dawn spreads its paintbrush on the plain, spilling purple... ," Sons of the Pioneers theme for TV show "Wagon Train." Dawn on the mythic Santa Fe Trail, New Mexico, looking toward Raton from Cimarron. -- Clarkphoto. A curmudgeon artist's musings melding metaphors and journalism, for readers in more than 150 countries.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

December Solitude--Cabin Fever

"Cabin Fever," 5 by 7 watercolor card
"Cabin Fever" can set in on days like this, cold and bitter, when you're forced to be alone with your self, even if other people are around. "Cooped Up" is another such term.
The hassle and hurry and crowds of the holidays finally fade in late December. Reactions include solitude, being alone, loneliness, but they are no synonyms, no matter how many people are around. 
You want to escape four walls closing in, but that can also be metaphorical. Crowds can make you lonely, lost almost. 
There is a hunger for solitude, physical, or differently, mental and spiritual. Many seek to withdraw and just be alone as an antidote for the busyness and noise.  I follow "Cabin Life" on Instagram, about someone who lives off the grid in Alaska. He's not a hermit, but lives a purer life than I could take all the time.
Still I yearn for a perhaps mythical cabin where I could find solitude from the world and crowds of people and traffic and commercialism. Not all people, but just the chance to slow down. I really think that what this world needs is to slow down and be rather than do. That's what the world needs--time to slow down so people can think rather than react.
My cabin would be perfect for that.  My "cabin fever" is of a different kind.
 "Solitude is not something you must hope for in the future. Rather, it is a deepening of the present, and unless you look for it in the present you will never find it," Thomas Merton
(Day 30 of 31 December paintings.)

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