Walking Alone




It’s a complicated pursuit, inspiration. But, I’ve found there is one sure way to engage. 

GET AWAY.

That’s why once a year, in the heart of winter, despite life’s persistent demands…we go…to the woods of Maine.

It took us awhile to achieve flow. Our visits are oddly different each year. 

One year I spilled a tablespoon of water on my laptop causing it to stop working on day two. Another year, one of us got a call that a loved one had been hospitalized. Still another year, someone forgot their suitcase and had to traipse to the local consignment store for a purple sweatsuit that has become standard retreat wear. This year one of us was on the verge of big change, the messy kind that life often brings. 


The combinations and circumstances vary. But the guts are always the same. 

We’re there—together.

We write.
We make excuses, and 
Read.
We go for long walks, and
Take naps, glorious naps.
We share our work.
We sip wine.
Eat chili.
We venture out into the world for at least one meal.
We snicker when our roommate hums, and
Worry about the people we left at home and wonder…
What are we doing here?

And, then we write, and
Write some more.
Take more walks.
Sip more wine.
Eat more chili, this time with baked potatoes. 
Set goals.
Share work.
Revise.
Take that last walk.



Toward the end of this year’s time away a co-writer returned, red-cheeked from one of those walks, just as I was donning my own protective layers. “How is it out there?”

“Cold.” She smiled. “Sorry I didn’t ask if you wanted to go with me but I know you like to walk alone.”

She’s right. I do like walking alone even though nature in its purest form scares the bejeebers out of me. 

But, everything—even walking alone in the woods of Maine—is less scary when inspiration and friends are waiting, willing you to push past those pesky self-inflicted limitations.









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