Friday, May 26, 2006


I have been musing about solitude lately. In February this year I moved to Eltham to live by myself in a little studio amongst the trees. This was a big change for me, after having lived for nearly 10 years in the inner city. All of a sudden I didn't have a milk bar on the corner, a gelati shop up the road and a tram stop at my doorstep. Now I have to get in my car in order to go anywhere.

I am glad to finally have enough space for my harpsichord, and that there are no neighbours who can be disturbed by my practicing. I have tried to block out time for practice and the other work I have to do for my course. My wonderful harpsichord teacher has encouraged me to spend time being, and dreaming, and meditating, as well as putting in the hours at the keyboard. I am aware that time for contemplation and space for creativity are important for artists.

It has been interesting to observe, though, how much I have questioned myself for spending time alone. It is a concept that is not often celebrated in 21st century Australia. Sometimes I feel that I am being measured by the quality of my social life, and I start to worry that I am being too hermit-like.

I do love to socialise, and this weekend is full of dinners, coffees, catch-ups and the like. When I am at work I am constantly with people. So why do I get all angsty after spending one day in my own company? I have plently to do, I am by no means bored or unfulfilled, and I am mostly enjoying spending time with my instrument, learning and playing music.

I think that perhaps I get worried that society will not accept me if I decide sometimes to shun it. That if I spend a Saturday night at home, I will never go out again. This, of course, is a completely irrational belief, but humans are full of irrational beliefs, aren't we?

In the midst of my solitude on Tuesday afternoon, after I had had my harpsichord lesson, and in a little break in my practicing, I read this post at Click Opera, and the last two lines brought a smile to my face.
There's no shame in being introverted. People who love quietness love life.