Sunday, June 13, 2010
This past weekend, as I noted in the previous post, I had the privilege of seeing my dear friend Voice of Reason get married to a very fortunate man. For various sound reasons, they held the wedding at a mountain town that caters to weekend travellers seeking to escape city life and wander around among the trees, look up and see stars, and all that sort of thing.
I ate it up.
After a few hours of fantasizing about ways to live in such a place while continuing to work in Grit City, I discarded the idea as utter nonesense,** possibly brought on by altitude-related oxygen deprivation, and instead thought about one that I might actually put into practice: once-a-semester writing retreats.
Now, in my fantasy world, this would involve enough time to give me two travel days, plus three days where I'd write in the morning, hike in the afternoons, and read in the evenings. The cost would be about equivalent to an academic conference. The retreat location of my fantasy world would have at least one window that would look out on no neighbors, and the actual dwelling would not have free internet access. The practical part of my brain does not allow me to delude myself that I could knock off an entire article or anything, but I do think I could accomplish a lot if unplugged, and in an inspiring place. And being forced to disconnect from the e-chatter for a while might help form some good habits I could take back home.
I am, as you may have guessed by now, a bit of a romantic.*** And I do acknolwedge that if a procrastinator gets in a car or on a plane and heads to the mountains, the person who gets out of that car or plane in the mountains will be… a procrastinator. So there is essential groundwork that I need to think about before seriously contemplating this.
I know that one of my regular readers takes herself on retreats, but these are spiritual, rather than work-related. Then again, my longing for occasional doses of mountain solitude does have a vaguely spiritual component to it, too.
Anyone tried this? Did you find it helpful?
**First, it clashes with my live-where-you-work philosophy and the communitarian and environmental benefits of said philosophy. Second, I've been nattering on for a month now about becoming more emotionally connected to Urban University and Grit City. Putting down my main roots somewhere else entirely would be antithetical to this goal, to say the least. Third, it would be damn expensive.
***I don't think that's necessarily a bad quality. But it's one that has prompted me to leap into untenable situations in the past.