house of happy

Life adventures in prose and verse. Explorations of places, people and words. Stories and fun.

Monday, 5 March 2012

44 days, 4

A TED talk sits on my screen for weeks: – and suddenly I find the 20 minutes it claims out of my day, against a gentle background of tile-cutting (adega floor being finished) and dogs barking at a ghost. If you watch it, several things might start making sense. Why, for example, you find me hidden in dusty nooks at odd times, having stolen 10 minutes to read a book I carry with me all day. Why, when the door closes after guests, you reach for the blackberry and address book while I collapse -aaaaah – with an insane smile on my face, lighter at last, ALONE (sorry guests, it's not you, seriously, it's me!) Why you turn the radio on and, a minute later, mind completely fried, I turn it off again. I don't know how to say this without offending, but I love my slices of solitude.

Susan Cain maintains – in the TED talk above – that loving and claiming your moments of solitude should not only NOT be offensive to anyone, it should also be necessary and valued as a life enhancing – and quite possibly world-changing – ingredient. Self-serve system: those who crave it should be able to help themselves at any time. The role of society in all this: to make the option of solitude available, to put it on the platter correctly labelled and free of charge.

Having heard all that, thanks but no thanks today, actually: we're off to the seaside, to be with people, a beachful of the noisy swines to be precise. And a nice friend to whom I rave about the talk above, while she raves about another talk at the same time. Once we both manage to shut up for a minute, we discover that she too is an introvert and we almost hold hands in the sand, such is the joy.

And on the way home I discover that my driving is also of the introverted type: along empty motorways and isolated country lanes, it feels like flying. Give me a busy town centre however, and you get these ungainly jerks and beeps and the occasional going-against-the-flow on one-way streets, at the end of which, a complete wreck, I once again need a little peace...


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