“Vic was a skilled and entertaining teacher,” I say to my dream therapist after watching a video of my deceased husband giving a talk. She smiles her “I see something” smile.
“So what are you?” she asks.
My mind goes blank. What am I other than a little lost?
“I’m a woman on my own,” I say.
“I’m a woman who needs to be outside every day in any weather. Did you read May Sarton’s Journal of a Solitude? I relate to that.”
She nods yes.
“Solitude. It’s an option,” I say. “A frowned upon option, but it’s what I seem to need. People warn me: ‘You’ll get depressed. You’ll get lonely. You’ll feel unloved.'”
“Maybe. But I feel depressed in crowds of people. I am loneliest at a big conference in a city hotel. I feel unloved and isolated when I’m unable to communicate or hear.”
I was once an extrovert, a gregarious young woman who spent most of my time with others. I still value and depend on community, but an introverted life showed up after my husband died. It intensified with hearing loss.
“So what else are you?” my therapist asks.
“I’m a Jungian. I’ve seen my world through a Jungian lens since I was introduced to his work in 1970. It’s a perspective I share in writing. I want to do more of that.”
“I’m a woman who loves mythology and Nature. I’m at home with big trees, sunsets, and bodies of water. I miss sharing this with Vic and cherish those friends who want to walk in the forest with me, but like Artemis the Huntress, I’m comfortable alone.
“You can give me any city you choose,” Artemis said to her father the Greek God Zeus, “but unlike the other Olympians, I’ll rarely go there. I intend to live in the mountains.”
I see Artemis in the hills and valleys. I see her in the forest surrounded by wild creatures and untamed vegetation. She protects women in childbirth, the wildest of experiences, and provides quick death for those who cannot survive. She is a life-giver and life-destroyer. Like Nature.
“What about being a writer?” my therapist asks.
“Ah, yes. I feel unsure about where I’m going now that my first book is out and the second hasn’t clarified as I’d hoped. I write short pieces, like blogs and reviews.”
Then my therapist does what she does so well. She remembers a dream I’ve forgotten.
“Do you remember the advice you gave a young boy in a dream a few years ago, a boy who symbolized your inner writer self?”
“I remember,” I say with a grin.
“Yes, that’s what I said. That’s what I do,” I say with tears running down my cheeks. “My heart longs to write and I need solitude to fulfill that dream.”
What does your heart long for? When I feel rattled or lost, it’s good to talk to someone who helps me remember what I know. Do you have people like that in your life?
For other posts about the messy and exhilarating adventures of life as a writer, see Savoring the Solitude: A Writer’s Life or My Creative Dilemma. I hope you’ll enjoy my recent Jungian review about the book Descent to the Goddess: A Way of Initiation for Women by Sylvia Perera (Inner City Books, 1981). I loved re-reading the book and writing about it.