I have decided not to go into Town for my yoga class today, but to stay home for the second day in a row. I am enjoying my solitude, working productively in my cosy little studio while outside the rain falls steadily. I spent the weekend in social situations, and I have a meeting and a night class scheduled for tomorrow. I just want another day to myself.
Most people seem to be curious, doubtful or amazed when I say that I am happy living alone, so far from other humans. Old friends and aquaintances have to reassess their perception of me as a very social person. People just getting to know me don't readily have a category to slot me into. I grew up in a family, moved on to big shared flats, became a mother pretty young... and my last few years have been living with other people in the inner city and going to work in open plan offices. Being alone now is like quenching a desert parched throat with a long cool drink of iced lemonade.
And although I like the idea of being a hermit or a recluse I am hardly one of those! I talk to family and friends on the phone most days, send and receive emails, share my musings and anectdotes with scores of people through this blog, listen to National Radio a lot, chat to various neighbours every few days and venture into town at least once a week where I am making many new friends and business contacts.
Yes, sometimes I feel lonely. But not as often as I felt lonely when I was surrounded by people all the time. The loneliness has an old faded feeling, as though it is a much handled book from my childhood, familiar but not really relevant to my current reality. Mostly I feel like I am the luckiest person in the world to be here doing this- and this feeling is as fresh and new as an artist's book blossoming in my studio.