Living from the inside.

Yesterday I bought a small notebook in which I can make short entries for each day over a period of five years. I rarely keep up with anything that tracks my days but after reading about someone who does this consistently, I am more motivated. Given that I don’t do anything externally now that chronicles my life, (besides this blog) it would be good to make a few entries to monitor what is really important to me.

I rarely think about what I do within the space of an hour, yet it is the hours and minutes that make up the whole. Without high speed internet access, I watch fewer movies and television, and while I bought quite a few books when I first came here, I rarely read more than a few sections of each. I recently put all the books in a bottom drawer and am not buying any more.

After a flurry of kitchen noise from the college student who lives here, it is quiet. I got an email from a man in Europe who has stayed in touch with me for 14 years. I met him at a tradeshow when I worked in marketing and went out to lunch with him in London. I haven’t seen him since 2001, but he still sends me an invitation to visit every year.

I don’t know why being in Europe feels so scary to me. Maybe it’s because London was so monstrously big and overwhelming. I felt like it was going to swallow me up. I have never visited New York City because I have the same fear about it. Any place that holds millions of people together repels me. The worst years of my life were spent in a large city. I need to have physical space around me and a fair amount of green vegetation.

Last night I watched the blood moon from the window in my bedroom. I started this new phase of my life on the blood moon that happened on October 8, 2014. There is a sense now of having completed something. I sold my home, moved out of the area I lived in for thirty years, and am now living in a beautiful room in a beautiful house that is surrounded by woods. I live with, and associate with, women my age who are going through the same late life transition I am. I moved to this area to have the exact experience I am now having. I found what I was looking for. Getting to this point took a lot of effort and planning, but when I look back, I see that my sense of direction was flawless.

There is something to learn from the past year that has to do with knowing what I want and having enough passion and intuition to go with the flow. I feel calmer now. There is nothing to do, yet everything to do. The sense of doing that often compelled me to do what I didn’t want, has been replaced by a nascent sense of ‘only doing what I do want.’ Yesterday I organized a spontaneous meditation/painting party here. This was something I wanted to experiment with so I just did it. Afterwards, one of the participants asked me if I enjoyed it. Apparently, I have become so inner-focused that it is hard for people know what is going on.

IMG_0568I do have a growing sense of living from the inside. The external things that happen are less and less important. I am giving more attention to my body and my moods. Lately, I feel very tired and sad. There is a sense of having missed so much of my life because I wasn’t aware or awake to what was really happening. I let other people define my reality and oftentimes was rarely even “there.” Now that all the roles I played are finished, there is only the unlived life of my soul. More and more, I refrain from making small talk because it’s such a waste of time. I want to have the large talk that only takes place within.


4 thoughts on “Living from the inside.

  1. Hello Rachael – I discovered you and your blog on finishing Alice Koller’s Stations of Solitude and searching online for more about her. {Ordered her other book as I spent the entire weekend absorbed.} I’ve been reading post after post here with a mixture of relief, a feeling of kinship and great interest, and have added it to my reader so I can keep up with your posts. You write so beautifully and simply about exploring life in a new, solitary way.

    I’ve been living a similarly solitary lifestyle {by choice} for about four years now {and am always looking for ways to refine it}, and have found almost no one who talks about this way of living. I am so glad to have found you. I recently started a personal blog {having written one for my work for many years} and it’s been proving hard to express myself as I’d like, so you are also inspiring me. Thank you for writing about your life and sharing it. 🙂


    1. I always enjoy hearing about someone discovering Alice Koller. When I found her book, “An Unknown Woman” (about 20 years ago in a used bookstore), I knew there was at least one person in the world who understood my life and the kind of philosophical inquiry I wanted to pursue. Living a solitary life, outside of a monastic or religious order, is a path that more people are choosing, but few are writing about. Glad you are joining us. Thanks for your support and encouragement.


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