Saturday, September 22, 2007

The Products of Solitude

Recently I had a few days to myself. Meaning, it was just me and the dogs. While I adore my beloved people, I am totally a person of solitude. This makes me a weirdo I know. I did some likely stuff, gardening, kayaking, walking the dogs, even organizing closets, and computer files. It's not so much about what I did with my time, for me, but what I learned from it. Okay, even weirder--relaxing down time is even better if I can learn something while pursuing recreational activities.

For instance, a little time catching up on email garnered a startling revelation. There were people out there who thought Katy Couric was just masticating and spewing out information provided to her by the government when she was on her supposed investigative reporting tour of Iraq. Gee, I thought the very same thing. Turns out the whole thing blew up into a cat fight of sorts through email, and a CBS bigwig had to personally apoligize to the blogger who first commented on this pablum reporting, according to Jason Lee Miller at Webpro News.

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I had some pretty interesting thoughts about shyness while I was paddling. People laugh today when I tell them I used to be shy. As a child I was, and I haven't thought about it much in a long time, but it has come to my attention that shyness, which I thought was an innate part of my personality, and may well be, is/was a way for me to control my environment. If someone was loud, bossy, nosy or just plain rude, I could avoid interaction by being shy. It wasn't something I planned or thought out, it was just a coping mechanism that I thought I had no control over. Many people suffer from shyness, and I say suffer, because it is limiting to the possibilities of life. Turns out, years later with some life experience in my belly, I've figured out there's very little I can control but myself, but retiring I don't have to be. Self-expression is a wonderful thing, and is carried out by people when they create art, or perform in many different ways. Look at this brilliantly colored and evocative digital painting by Canadian artist Pavel Rehurek to prove my point.

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One more product of my solitude to share. A few years ago, my daughter gave me a copy of "The Turning Point: The Little Things Can Make a Big Difference" by Malcolm Gladwell. The single most thing I identified with in the book, was that I identified with Gladwell's archetypical Maven Gladwell wrote of. I like to share information. Gee, wonder if that is why I became entrenched in a writing career before I left high school? Sharing information to me is like putting a message in a bottle, and if by chance someone happens to discover the message, then wow, what a thing. If you've never put a message in a bottle and thrown it into the sea, then you are missing out on one of life's great mysteries. When I was a child, we actually found one!

Which all flows down the stream to share a thought with you. We have been getting more and more traffic to the site, through social networking referrals to StumbleUpon,, and others. If you like the site, or something in our blog. Please feel free to pass it on. It's a simple way to support the arts and the wonderful artists on our website. I liken it to putting a message in a bottle.

Have a wonderful day...Ruth Mitchell

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