Seeking Solitude…Avoiding Loneliness

Seeking Solitude…Avoiding Loneliness

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Early November, I packed up my pastels and some necessary clothes and other sundries and headed to the desert for a personal painting retreat. I had booked this trip some months ago when spurred on by Alaska Airlines fare deals. I could fly from San Francisco to Palm Springs and back for a mere $150. Sold! Then I secured a hidden gem of an accommodation on Airbnb situated right on the edge of Joshua Tree National Park. Car rented, house/pet instructions given to my family, shuttle to the airport booked…I was ready.
Arriving in the dark of desert night driving up an unpaved sandy road with only my econo rental’s headlights to light my way, I finally arrived after some unsure twists and turns. Settling in and unpacking groceries and toiletries, I walked outside to look at the desert sky. YES! A week of uninterrupted painting and doing WHATEVER I wanted WHENEVER I wanted. What a concept. Years of service in the nursing profession, immediately followed by raising a family, it certainly was an odd feeling to have no responsibility…
The morning came with hot pink skies of sunrise….oh I was too tired to get up and catch them…
there will be more I’m sure. A little later, several visitors came to see the new arrival. BUNNIES…adorable cottontail bunnies waiting for me to sprinkle a little rabbit kibble for them.
My new muses had arrived…with deft movement I captured them on my inadequate iPhone camera for future reference…
And so continued a week in the desert. Early morning sunrises, visiting bunnies, walks in the Joshua Tree National Park. And painting. I finished 10 paintings of the desert and of course some of the bunnies…I just couldn’t resist.
By about the fifth day, I began to feel the twinge of homesickness and loneliness….what’s this? ME? Vagabond, world traveler, solo free spirit…what was this all about? I can’t really answer it except to say that age has mellowed me a bit…helped me settle…I don’t need to do it all anymore…being at home with my family and animals and painting everyday in my studio and playing the piano…these are my favorite things…Content to be grateful for what I have and releasing the need to seek …. Don’t get me wrong…I adore my solitude…but perhaps in smaller doses.

Cheers and love to you during this holiday season when everything is just a little bit tender….

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