In Search of Solitude, Serenity, and Creativity

Paris Mill in Buckskin Gulch
Image by Schweerchichi via Flickr
I have been having a blank space in my creative wanderings, of late. Where I lost my muse, I am not sure really.  Perhaps it’s just been the acute overflow information due to the current crises, has cluttered my head. 

Back home in Colorado, this would have been no problem, for all I would have to do is take a short drive and a little hike.  Find one of those not so secret places in the mountains to clear my thoughts and refresh my soul.  A  place like that pictured above. Looking up at the mountains, above the Paris Mill in Buckskin Gulch.  I got lucky with this picture, and managed to capture some of the sun's rays as it looked down upon us.  I was able to absorb the softness of the sky, brisk clean air, the beauty and spirit of the mountains.  Sometimes it was even better at night, taking in the inviting, sparkling, brilliant stars.  Enjoying a luminescent glow of comforting moonlight, and the startlingly clear shadows it cast.

Hanging 500 Mine Buckskin GulchThese, not so secret, places had the ability to calm my person, and clear my mind of all that troubled me.  I could sit on the rocks all day, and dream of all sorts of things, mysteries, fantasies, adventures and so much more.  I had even been known to take a sketch pad and attempt, however woefully, to capture the scenery around me.  Unfortunately for me, Kel was the artist of the family, I had to struggle for the most basic of concepts.  But I did enjoy the contentment that came along with the attempt.

Road down from Kite LakeWhere my visits seemed to help me the most, was in clearing my mind of all the small meaningless worries and troubles.  Then I was able to refresh it with new, sometimes funny,  fanciful, or insightful ideas.  What ever direction my imagination took me, I always came away with fresh and new ideas for my mind to play with.  I could dream up stories of intricate fantasies and plans of adventurous travels.  The hard part was getting them down on paper in some understandable format.

Now that I believe I have gotten better at putting my ideas on paper, virtual or otherwise, I am finding myself, with mimic quality, losing all those free flowing thoughts.  I constantly have difficulties organizing those scattered threads of ideas, trying to meld them together into a woven tapestry of a story worthy of a persons time to read.  I am in search of some form of quality that seems to escape my conscious thought, and leaves me wandering in a cloudy confusion.

I need to find a place close by with some uncharacteristic beauty that I can visit regularly to clear and refresh my thoughts.  Now that I'm living in the city, not to mention a city in the flat lands, I may have to readjust my definition of beauty and serenity.   The deer lease is nice, but too far away for regular visits.  I need something close by, that a couple minute drive or short walk can deliver me to solitude, solace and contentment.   A place that will allow me to leave behind all the worries of the week, and troubles of the times.  I'll keep looking, and eventually I'll find it, but until then I'll just have to push through, organizing my thoughts and ideas.  As the saying goes, the only real failure, is a failure to try.

As a closing note, I have a quote to share.  This was sent to me by Kel, and it fits these times of financial troubles ever so appropriately.
“The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money.”
Alexis de Tocqueville
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21 comments:

ShawnD said...

I may know of a place by the creek I can take you Eric that me, Nicole, and all of them used to do all that junk at but when it's a quiet day and no one's out, and the birds are the only things making noise, it's a nice place to lose yourself in. It's a nice little clearing in the woods down the street but don't wear shorts because that's where I might have gotten my poisen ivy from.

AngelBaby said...

Your quote is so true. I think they have found out the way to bribe the public, the 700 billion bail out. I sure hope they don't do this. I think everyone is feeling just like you, it is after all a very scary time in the US.

Love and Blessings,
AngelBaby

jenaisle said...

Hi Eric,

I missed the mountains too, just like you I find these refreshing to the mind and soul. These quiet moments of solitude. Thanks for sharing, the pics are wonderful.
Cheers.

my3sons said...

Hi Eric. I found your blog at Lilly's.

Beautiful post. I hope you find your "soul healing" spot. I lived in Colorado for 3 years. Hands down- those mountains contain the most wonderful spots for self- reflection.

Fantastic quote BTW.

Eric S. said...

@ Shawn, OK we'll check it out, maybe this weekend.

@ AngelBaby, I know when my sister sent it to me, I knew I had to post it. It will all eventually settle down, but we'll all have to tighten the belts up a little. I loved the seeing eye cat.

@ Jena, hey wonder woman, you are doing so well at Helium. I added you as a favorite on my Helium profile.

I will always miss the mountains, and the country life style. It's so easy to lose yourself in the beauty.

@ My3sons, Welcome any friend of Lilly is a friend of mine. I was born and raised in the mountains west of Denver. I loved to go and find the most secluded spot I could. Especially if it had a view. It's great for thinking and reflection. Thanks for stopping by.

Julie said...

I have found that sometimes just walking out into my backyard by myself gives me a few moments to quiet my thoughts. Even with the cars going by if I just sit in one of my folding chairs and stair up at the trees I can forget that I am just in my backyard and I feel like I could be looking up at trees anywhere.

Eric S. said...

Hi Julie, and welcome. I guess you would be my step niece? Anyway, I wish I had that ability. I guess I'm just spoiled by having had the real experience too many times. I'll work on it though, maybe I can find some mountains in my back yard yet

Thanks for coming by, and congrats on your new cat.

confused said...

I HAD SEVERAL PLACES FOR THIS WHEN i WAS TRUCKING..FAVORITE QUIET SPOTS..i MISSED THEM WHEN I GOT OFF THE ROAD BUT IN TIME I HAVE FOUND OTHERS CLOSE TO WHERE I LIVE..YOU WILL FIND THEM AS WELL

Eric S. said...

Hi Confused, Thanks for your moral support. I bet you did have some great places.

I love your poems of the open road.

LceeL said...

I have found my 'mountains' inside my iPod. And my muse. The right music can take you anywhere you want to go.

Lilly's Life said...

See its funny Eric but I think that post was so very beautifully written. A lot of people feel the same way about their writing.

When I was doing meditation techniques years ago (some work conference which I scoffed about at the time but which I found useful over the years)you had to think of your special place, and relax. Whenever I need some quiet time and inspiration I can go to this quiet place (in my head) in a few seconds. It always works. It is a lake surrounded by trees and there is an old cottage nearby. It's just perfectly restful.

I think every so often we need a break from life or from writing even.

You never lose your talent (and you have it - the evidence is there) I think we just lose confidence sometimes. I hope you find your special place again, but go lie down somewhere comfortable and relax from your toes to the top of your head and just picture your mountains. It works with practice.

I loved Kel's quote she sent you - how true it is. Thanks for the post, it was a good one.

Bag Blog said...

Eric, I really liked your post and can certainly feel for you. We moved to south central OK after living in northern, NM. I do miss the mountains - they are a part of my soul. I have found that there is beauty in the flatlands, but sometimes it is more the joy of being with good friends and loved ones (grandbabies especially) that make the difference and give me peace.

Eric S. said...

@ Lou, Yea I do like music, and listen quite often. I have never thought about getting an Ipod, but that may be a good idea

@ Lilly, may not be a bad idea to start in on some meditation. At least in my own head, I'll have good company LOL. Thank you very much for the compliment, and That quote is right on

@ Bag Blog, Thank, yeah you used to live in Questa I believe. My Mother lives there, and I love the mountains there. Grandchildren are great aren't they.

June Saville said...

Thanks for becoming a follower of Journeys in Creative Writing Eric - I look forward to sharing with you too.
My quiet spot is perching on a not-too-high cliff looking down on the crystal Pacific Ocean as it washes over rocks.
Cheers
June in Oz

Eric S. said...

Hi June, I plan to be visiting you often for your sage advise and great tips.

your quiet spot sounds wonderful. I have never spent any time around the oceans. I can picture your cliffs in my head though.

Thanks for coming by, and your welcome any time, just come on in and make yourself at home.

tashabud said...

Hi Eric,
Ipods are great. My son and daughter gave me one two Christmases ago, and I listen to it quite a bit.

You'll be able to program your favorite music that would remind you of your favorite solitude places. And as you close your eyes and listen to your music in privacy, the music will then transport you to your favorite places without you actually being there. Good luck and good travelling.

Eric, You just have to make a yearly trek up to the mountains in Colorado, so as not to deprive yourself of what you've been missing in your life--the life of a mountain man.

Eric S. said...

Hi Tasha, I should invest in a good MP3. Maybe someday, then I'll have to go through all that music and find stuff to upload.

I would love to be able to make more trips to Colorado. Right now, I only get home once every two or three years.

soulMerlin said...

"I need to find a place close by with some uncharacteristic beauty that I can visit regularly to clear and refresh my thoughts"

you're right, we all need that space - druids and other nature religions call it a 'sacred space' and so it is-a centering space (and if it's secret, so much the better)

I have a rare day off tomorrow and I hope the weather is good enough for me to go to my favourite Oak tree and just stand or sit close to it for a while.

"I am in search of some form of quality that seems to escape my conscious thought"

...and here you have found it

Now I know that I've only read some of your posts up to now, but there is a change...a quality...that I have not seen before.

It's a sort of beauty

xhenry

Eric S. said...

Henry, I hope the weather is nice and you get time to enjoy your sacred place. It's interesting you mention Druids, for I have long had a love of all things druidic. I have spent long hours reading stories about them and their mystical powers. I believe there power was simply an accumulation of vast amounts of knowledge.

You would enjoy a book I have read a few times. The Walking Drum by Louis L'Amour. There is druidism behind the main character, and I think you would enjoy the philosophies.

Thank you so much for the compliment. Perhaps I should get in these moods a little more often.

Kel said...

Yo Bro ~ good post. I think I'm beginning to notice a trend. It seems that often when you mention in the early paragraphs that you're struggling with your muse, or feeling uninspired, that within a paragraph or two you're neck deep in an interesting/moving/eloquent flow of text.

I don't get up in the mountains as much as I'd like, but they've got some swell ones out here in the Land of Fruits and Nuts. Though both Randy and I find it pretty uncomfortable in the joints now to take off week-long backcountry back-packing trips into the Yosemite wilderness (not to mention how miserable sleeping on the ground seems to have become), we still get up to Yosemite and Tahoe for weekends chock full of day hikes and merry wanderings.

It's not South Park, of course. But its still uniquely cleansing of spirit to trudge up to the very tip top of a California mountain, above the tree line, and open myself to the voice and touch of the wind, the sun, the open sky, the great ancient weight of thrumming stone beneath me.

A couple of folk mentioned mentioned here using meditation techniques to take oneself on an short "vacation" into ones favorite place, in the safety of our minds. I think you would find reading up on meditation techniques to be fascinating. I was trained in a variety of basic techniques when studying theater, and can affirm that they work and are well worth the effort to learn and practice.

My new mental vacation is retrieving the sense of being at Machu Pichu . . . truly one of the most magical, sacred, inspiring places I have ever been.

Eric S. said...

Machu Pichu, I bet that was fun. It's hard to replace those old familiar stomping grounds, but it will have to happen. I'm going to pick up some reading on mediation, I think it could come in useful.

I guess I will have to get uninspired a little more often. LOL

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