The lack of chatter in the box

I discovered an interesting thing about myself while I was away.  Maybe I knew it along.

Have you ever worked in an old fashioned darkroom. With film, good old fashioned honest film. You expose your image with a light projector through the negative and onto the photo paper,  then in your dark room you slide that blank  paper into the developer, it is like water in a tray and gently you rock the developer tray up and down, up and down with the paper moving gently in the fluid until the image, like slow magic,  begins to appear on the paper, it is distant and faded at first but soon it becomes clear and sharp. Soon you see exactly what you have and all the things you did not mean to have.  Largely Un-edited. Complete.

Then you wash it through a tray full of water, working your way down your counter and then into another tray that holds the fixer. The fixer solution seals the image to the paper.  Then you wash your finished photograph in water again, and dry it. Then you look at it and think about it.

Sometimes my thoughts are like this. I have to rock them for a while in the solution – letting the image slowly form then move these thoughts through all the steps until they are crystal clear and allowed out into the light to dry. And be considered.

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I learnt that I am no longer afraid of being alone. In fact after days of normal family life this last week, I found myself floundering sightly. Unable to find the words. Resorting to the kitchen for my expression.morning-004

I almost always say the wrong thing. After years and years of saying the first thing that came into my head, I find  myself choosing my words more carefully now that I live in a foreign country.   Then slowly my words sigh back into the silence. I listen more. Wait. Nod. Watch.

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I find I have lost the ability to join conversations. After the long hours of silence that accompanies my days I find that I need to search for a word. They will trip off my fingers but not my tongue.

I have become solitary.  Or at least my ability to be solitary is clear now. It is something I am good at.

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I find it easier to talk to animals. Though I seldom use actual language.  Or even English for that matter.morning-011

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I think many old fashioned farmers are like this. We move our cows, calling them through the gates, we walk about the sheep feeling their cool noses and watching them walk, we watch the pigs leaning on the fences saying good piggy, good fat piggy.

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Except when the biggest fat piggie breaks into the chook-house. You forgot to put the barrier thingy back up, miss c.  Hmm. Did you eat all the eggs Sheila? I ask. Never, says Sheila. Big, fat, liar piggie.

See you can’t talk to people like that –  especially with an accent.  But I can do it all day long with the animals because they don’t care what my words are they only listen to my tone. When they hear the laughter tone  in the words –  that is what they feel – laughter.

There is an etiquette for talking to people.   I missed that page.I was absent that day. My gaze is just a little too direct. My answers just a little too considered. My articulation a little too precise as I feel about with my tongue for the word that would make sense. My silences just a little too telling. I take what people say at face value.  My sense of smell is so precise that I have trouble controlling the flare of my nostrils and that little lift of my chin as I follow a scent.  My hands are too busy.  There is no delete button for my mouth. So I am careful with it.

This is why I am better out here on the prairies. This is why farmers like us have hair that sticks up all over, nothing but chapstick on our lips, we tie up our pants with baling twine, and wear odd socks and slop about in boots.. not fancy cowboy boots but mucky gumboots. Farm life is judgement free.  Cows don’t care.

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I have discovered that I have come a long way from my High Street life. And I am realising that I may never be able to go back. One thing I know for sure.. I eat well.  But quietly.  Lucky Our John is the Silent One. Lucky for me that I have you.  When we write we can make sure our words are what we mean.

Left to myself.. would I become a recluse?

Would you?

Have a lovely day. I will. I do.

your friend on the farmy,

celi

78 Comments on “The lack of chatter in the box

  1. I would! (For now I have the boys dragging me out of my shell though.) I whole heartedly second your gratitude that there is this community in the ether that listens, and responds.

  2. Lovely. You obviously have no problem at all with the words that come out of your fingers instead of your mouth. And the ability to be solitary and happy is the product of an adult and peaceful mind…

  3. Oh boy – you and I are surely soul-mates. I am exactly the same Celi, well except for the part about owning a farm.
    It is the very reason I am writing my next book, as I am not able to eloquently or adequately verbalise what I need to get across before it all goes haywire! And by haywire, it could be emotions getting completely out of control, or being interrupted before I can finish what I need to say and for the most part because I lose my words between my brain and my mouth and a zillion other reasons.
    Have a beautiful quiet semi wordless spoken weekend.
    🙂 Mandy xo

  4. I find it easy to slip into silence too since I enjoy being solitary but the presence of others and the energy of groups rouses me. There is much to gain by listening and by being heard.
    I enjoyed the reminder of photo-processing days – there is indeed a special magic in the red darkroom.

  5. Part the aging process, I suspect. Crossing into the second half of life brings about listening rather than talking, actions rather than words. And part, I have dicovered in these post motherhood years, that while loneliness is not welcomed, solitude is.

  6. I love what you’ve owned up to and what Marmepurl says about it. I agree. I find that my relationship with language is changing a lot. A whole lot. I write my blog, yes…but honestly, I myself don’t care so much what I have to say anymore and it’s not lack of self-esteem…it’s just a realization of just how far words can go (or not go) and how many are already out there. I’m interested in feelings and finding a better way and finally, finally learning, maybe, how to really show love with fewer words and often none at all. I feel a great deal of comfort and, strangely, company in reading this post and what everyone has to say about it. After all, here in this fellowship, we are all partners in a silent world. Thank you.

  7. I am not good at the talking, although I do too much of it. But I am too direct. In my mind I am just being clear. When other people dont say what they mean but dance around the subject, being nice and kind I get confused and wish they would just say what they mean. I suspect it is me not them. I have learnt to keep my mouth shut whilst I think about things. Then I write if I need to work through something. If I get angry I write an imaginary letter but never send it. I wait, and go back to it and change it and after a while I dont need to send it, after a while it looks slightly ridiculous which means I am returning to reason! I debrief my work in this way too. If I have had a difficult client I come back and write copious notes. The act of writing makes one focus on the essence of a thing, talking it through means we often talk all around it and never drill down to the real issue. Writing it down means you have to be succinct. Sometimes I think I am better in writing than I am in real life! Well if my spelling was better I would.

  8. Your post is so heartfelt Celi. First know that you are perfect, even though being from another country with a very different accent might be difficult at times here. I think become a listener instead of a talker is quite an achievement, actually. Something more of us human beings could benefit from, that’s for sure. And being content in oneself, in solitude, is also very wonderful indeed! xo

  9. Celi, today you shook your box of tricks and pulled me right out! I am solitary and happy to be on my own, and my dad always telling us kids (long ago) to “mean what you say, and say what you mean” coupled with an impulsive nature probably resulted in me being quite blunt. I too am much happier conversing with animals, and yet there are people that I can communicate with and quite often without words. Perhaps its is the animals complete acceptance and lack of judgement that we all seek to soothe us. Really good post, I will be back to read it again I’m sure. Laura

  10. sorry I couldn’t resist 🙂
    Maybe you have found somewhere and something into which you fit and fit well. I know I need a lot of time to myself, quiet time, just me and my thoughts or lack of. It’s a comfortable place. It sounds like you are comfy there too. Mind you I don’t have a big fat cow or cheeky pig to chat to!

  11. Lovely post. Lovely words. Well thought out. I often speak too soon; the art of listening is so important. I love company, but I so treasure my quiet moments alone in the garden. On an unrelated note, your sweet piggies are so cute and fat! 🙂

  12. You brought back a memory, of my mother once saying of my Gran (her mother-in-law) that it was an awful thing, all she’d ever done was be Somebody’s Mother or Somebody’s Wife, and how could she EVER be happy without a Social Circle to be a part of…You know what? She was quite happy to be by herself. Know what else? I’m just like her…it just took a while to be comfortable with that fact.
    Thanks for a great post, C.

  13. I read recently that as a writer when editing you should cut out every second sentence. I think since I’ve moved on to the farm I speak this way. When talking to people from my old life I feel less inclined to fill empty spaces. Or is it just age? Do we have less a need to impress? Like you I probably talk more to my animals (and make them talk, too, as if I’m writing a script for a cartoon). Great post.

  14. We are kindred spirits! I, too, have a problem with being around people. I always say the wrong thing and speak too gruffly. I call a spade a spade and it seems that is the reason that I am no longer close to my family. Thank God my husband understands me and he is reclusive as well. We get along very well – just us and the dog!

  15. A great introspective piece. It’s about what satisfies your soul, not about what a world expects. We each need to find our niches of happiness, whether in a cubicle or in a corner of a barn. You have clearly found yours.

  16. Oh Celi you hit so many nails on the head with this post! All though i love ‘words’ I am not very good at actually speaking them! If there is a wrong way of saying something I will find it. Once I was in a group talking about the ‘rich’ people and I called them ‘effluent’ instead of ‘Affluent’ and everyone couldn’t stop laughing for ages! That’s not saying that in the past I haven’t held my own in front of large audiences on stage’s and in board rooms. But I am so much happier now that I don’t have to speak if I don’t want to. Also like you I found it so hard when I first came to America, probably because I am blunt in my approach to things too.I couldn’t get over how many times the word ‘love’ was used an obviously not for just people that are close to us. The first time a fellow worker said “Love you Girlfriend” I almost died!! Had to have it explained to me that she was not hitting on me LOL. Then there is the British sense of humour – sigh got me into a lot of trouble many a time. No I am happier with the four legged friends that understand me so well!

  17. A really lovely post. Enjoying solitude is a topic my sister and I visit often often over the phone, me on the East Coast, and her in the West. Its been a life-long conversation. At first as young mothers we were hardly able to go to the bathroom by ourselves, and all we really craved at the time, we said, was to have one precious second by ourselves. These calls often took place from a closet, or said bathroom, hiding from said children for just those few precious seconds…Now that the children are grown, we both have found our bliss in the arts. She paints, I do jewelry. I am still surrounded by people three quarters of the year on my farm (vegetable don’t talk, but it takes more people to grow them on the scale that we do, and customers we sell to have to be talked to as well. Come winter, ahhh, that is when I get to enjoy great swathes of time to myself and oh boy, do I treasure every Single moment. I too, find that I am learning to do more listening these days. I am very opinionated, and too often get myself into trouble when I speak too hastily.

  18. So wonderfully articulated! I have many friends and enjoy being out and about, but am generally a solitary person. I’m an only child, have worked by myself from home for 26 years all day without a radio or music, sometimes never speaking to another human being until my husband gets home or passes through. And yet I never feel alone nor do I miss the workplace environment. In fact, it took me a while to get used to living with my husband and having another soul in the house with me, other than my cats which I have always had and we do chat. I think it does make me different from many people out there, and my approach towards communicating in business with people is more reserved because of it, but it’s me and the older I get the more comfortable I am with it all. 🙂

  19. Dear Celie – what a lovely post as always. Although I talk a lot at work it’s easy to fall into the same banter so last weekend when we went out for dinner with an friends of (my) Irishman and their neighbours it was suddenly weird to have an adult conversation with near strangers who I didn’t quite have a test of political views etc. Suddenly I found myself talking about things that I know nothing about with a lawyer and a writer after a few glasses of wine – oh dear. Didn’t quite say affluent in my socialist rant, but it was pretty bad.

  20. There’s a feeling here, and I’m no expert, like the feeling I get when I leave England after months and try to settle into Vancouver life and vice versa. Like I don’t belong, like people don’t speak my language and my mannerisms and expressions are foreign. The I realise I’m missing the people and the other country and have a hard time fitting in with the country I’m currently in. Maybe you’re feeling a little something of that mixed with missing family. Whether or not, big hugs Celi.

  21. I learned long ago how to be alone and not be lonely! And I have learned that when you are alone, you are in good company! Like so many others commenting here, when I am with others, I tend to talk too much, And, for some strange reason, I tend to draw folks to me who, when trying to have a conversation with them … they never let me finish a sentence before they are talking over me … so I just clamp my mouth shut! I guess they just assume that what I have to say is never as important as what they have to say! After a while, it becomes so rude and aggravating that I just go silent! More often then not, silence is golden! Love & Hugs from Colorado!!

  22. Now here’s a lovely introduction/opening for that book of yours that will be written.
    Left to yourself, you don’t become a recluse – you become whole.
    People giggle over the silent “hayseeds” but don’t realize farms reveal life, what’s important, and who you are – words aren’t really needed in that equation.
    Love these lines (and the comparison at the first: thoughts and dark room)
    ” When they hear the laughter tone in the words – that is what they feel – laughter.”
    “There is an etiquette for talking to people. I missed that page” (great paragraph)
    So much good writing.
    C. This is really good. Seriously. Really good.

  23. I agree entirely. I think that’s why when we return from visiting family in the highly populated north of England, I always feel quite drained. Don’t get me wrong, we enjoy our family time, but the strain of trying to slip back into our old life is very hard. So people might think that we’re strange for talking to our beasties, but do we care? Nah!
    Enjoy your prairie conversations,
    Christine

  24. You sum up exactly how I feel sometimes. I work in IT – in a office all alone. I can go a few days and never talk to a person during the working hours. At home – my husband is a very talkative person – he carries the conversation – so again – I get to be quite. I probably talk more to George Burns, Gracie Allen and Peggy Pepper (the dogs) than I do to human beings. I nuzzle George’s ear and tell him my sorrows for the most part. He never tries to solve them, he just nuzzles me back and gives me big sighs. Sometimes – we don’t need solutions – we just need an ear.

    enjoy your day! It is finely FALL in North Texas. Cool, Crisp and Sunny. First weekend for SUN in over a month.

  25. Dear Celi, Thank you so much for today’s post and all the comments that followed. I have always spent a lot of time on my own and value that to garden, knit, read, listen to music, etc. It is very important to be able to live with ones self. Throughout life there seems to be a lot of pressure to be popular, social, part of a group, important in your work. I agree that with maturity there comes the ability to realize your own value in having your own lifestyle. It is comforting to find so many like minded people. I feel very fortunate to have a wonderful husband, daughter and cats who are all loving but independent. I do love the photo of your three dogs together in the field.

  26. I too have experienced the influence of a quiet life. The past six months of living alone have taught and revealed much about myself. Peace. Simplicity. A deep happiness that abides amidst the troubles of life. I have been out in the noise and hustle and bustle. I am so blessed to have found my place. Or rather to be placed here by unexpected means.

  27. It must be really great to be able to be completely happy with your own company. I like to have someone to talk to during the day and at night. I need someone around to stop me from doing the crazy things that I want to do, and also to support and help me do the crazy things thst turn out ok. Having said that I love talking to my animals..usually they respond better than a husband does..but unlike you I could never doneverything thst you do..this is what I admire most about you, your independence to get things done..but not to the detriment of your health

  28. Sounds like you and I are a lot alike. Felt like I was reading about myself with this post. And it highlights how this week has gone for me. I’m always perplexed why others can’t just be plain and direct as well instead of muddling things with drama and double talk. It’s like being on a merry go round. And I tend to say the wrong thing. I’m working on taking a deep breath before I speak. 🙂

  29. I like silence, I think it is a privilege to be able to spend hours without the need to talk. Just listening to our thoughts. But human company is a great thing too. The key is to find the balance 😉
    Good morning to you too Silent C.
    G

  30. I think this is your best written post so I will forgive the absence of kitten photos.
    This is lovely. I find as I get older that I recognize who I really am and I’m comfortable with it….clearly you are finding that place, too. I’m not a very quiet person so I have started taking yoga to still my brain a bit.

    So glad you are back.

  31. Much of what qualifies as conversation is muck. I think perhaps spending time in silence, or talking to the animals, is soul-nourishing. That’s a good thing. ox

  32. Wow.
    I am already something of a recluse, living in the middle of a small city – and I was born with a foot in my mouth.
    I sometimes long for the peace of a prairie.
    I love this Celi. I love that so many of the fellowship are so similar – I guess that is perhaps why we find the fellowship such a special place to be.
    Thank you.

  33. AHHH! How you spoke for me…I am a recluse… it fits me. I love the non-judgement of the animals and the signals and signs and the ‘voices’ of the earth and sky. I have a hard time with people and lots of energy…often times restless energy full of nothingness because everyone is so bored but craving all at the same time.

    Terry gets lonely, not I. But I have you and my other blog friends so I have a way of communication. Terry needs men and he likes news (I sometimes think men gossip much more than women, they only call it news). I know just what you are saying and I Thank you for saying it for me!

    Your Western Colorado Farm Friend
    Linda
    http://coloradofarmlife.wordpress.com
    http://deltacountyhistoricalsociety.wordpress.com

  34. Some people desperately need people. People being what they are, those who don’t are probably better off, especially if nature becomes the companion.

  35. My husband is an artist who goes upstairs to his room and paints every day of his life. I stay downstairs writing/reading. We are retired from teaching in the inner-city of Chicago where fights (gang warfare)were common. We even survived a year of riots.
    Today when we are expected to attend family affairs, it is so stressful for us, particularly because we don’t have much in common with some of them. I can’t sleep the night after spending time with certain family members–not all–but some, who are of course there. I am unable to stop the tapes running in my head. Most people I think are extroverts and cannot understand people who would rather be alone.

  36. Ah, Celi….you are already a recluse. Just like me and most of us here. We speak dog, cat, pig, goat and sheep and chicken. I missed the page on social interactions, too. Love the library cause people there are quiet. When I read your post I felt like I was looking in a mirror. Until now, I thought I was alone…..Thank you for sharing. Never was a groupie. I think animals are so much more interesting and honest anyway.

  37. I have a friend who loves to talk, and when I want a good old chinwag I go visit her. She can talk about anything, but she’s not a very good listener so I rarely need to watch my words because most of the time she’s not listening anyway. I love her to bits. But you see, my P and I don’t have long conversations over dinner or chat endlessly the way we used to. We pretty much finish each other’s sentences and guess what the other will say before we open our mouth. I once lost my voice for a few days, and we didn’t realise because I had no call to speak. But I write. Lots. And my head is filled constantly with conversation….most of which I disregard. But occasionally I’ll listen to myself and be pleasantly surprised. But me a recluse? No, don’t think so.

  38. time outdoors, allowing your thoughts to wander as you work and talk with the animals, seems to me to be the best of days. Conversation with humans is grossly overrated more often than not!

  39. I can’t read all the other comments first – it will colour my response. Which is: yes yes YES! I don’t have a farmy, and I’m married to a man who has to have music on constantly, can talk for Ireland, will and has talked to cheese, talks to the dog and cats as if they know English… I try to keep things quiet and calm and have learned that when I’m truly ANGRY it is best if it write what I want to say, then edit it down into something that uses less F words and insults, but keeps my good points. Left on my own with no keyboard nearby and (usually) pints on board, I hurt people unintentionally. Speaking my mind and being honest seems like the right thing to do at the time. Ugh.

    So no farm, but at least I’m away from ‘phones at work now, and I get to be alone when I need to and the rest of the time my boys in the warehouse never ever talk serious, and I love them for that!

  40. What a beautiful, thoughtful post. I love your description of thoughts forming like images appearing in the darkroom. The ability to be solitary and content is a mature one, developed over many years of full living. It is wonderful and rare. Country people know all about this. It’s about going beyond image and persona and just being yourself. It sounds so spacious. I too love solitude, and when I’m at my bach I’m completely happy. I enter the company of trees, birds, sea and sky, and my bigger self emerges. I also love company, and being with people with whom I can have rich conversations. But I’m very selective these days.
    Here’s a little gift for you: some lines from Wordsworth that I love:

    That inward eye
    Which is the bliss of solitude

    Your inner life is so colourful, and what a blessing it is that you have the blog to link with others in a way that complements your daily solitude.

  41. The words that tripped off your fingers touched me deeply, inside. I like a solitary life most of the time, too. Talking is overrated.

  42. The joy of the Commenters Lounge, and wonderful post that out of the glory of solitude and silence said something worth saying. We are as one, in our spaces and our solitariness. When I was younger, I enjoyed discourse and disagreement. Now, I don’t care what people think, I let them go their own way. They would have regardless of any unsolicited thing I said anyway. And it is so much easier to say nothing than to say the ‘wrong’ thing.
    I cannot stand the social get-togethers where people sit around endlessly nattering for hours. Luckily I have a dodgy back and use it as an excuse to get up and wander around away from the conversation.
    I too talk to animals, and they respond in their own voice, or in kind. It’s simple.
    One if the best things about blogging is thoughts are shared and it’s up to the reader as to read, comment, think, act or not.

  43. I love the words that come from your fingers, and the reported conversations you have with the animals. On my own quite a lot, I talk to myself, and in company I probably talk far too much. Every blogger I’ve met chats very fluently, and when/if you came to stay, I’m sure you’d talk nineteen to the dozen.
    love,
    ViV

  44. Well you’re certainly great with words in your blog & express yourself so beautifully. I’ve found that I really enjoy time to myself now that I’m retired although I carry on great conversations w/my cat & dog.

  45. I am slowly clapping Celi because you have made it so very clear that whatever happens you have what it takes and what it takes comes from within you . . . and you can trust this and that security and contentment will never go away . . . I was an only child from a busy family and I have always said I ‘growed myself’ up . . . so tho’ I can be quite impossibly lively [dare I say ‘noisy’ 🙂 !] at all gatherings the pure happiness oft arrives when I close the door to the world! It is SO wonderful and ‘healthy’ never to be lonely . . . lucky all of us who feel this way . . .

  46. Nothing like a solitary life to clear the head and be in the Moment.
    It’s actually very refreshing.

    I live such a solitary life that I find it difficult, tiring & overwhelming to be in company where one has to concentrate on every single sentence.

  47. I once had an old box camera and an old canon that I loved! My good friend back in the day had his own dark room and he introduced me to developing my black and whites! He had a nice enlarger too! What fun I had! A long long time ago! Black and white film was so cheap! LOL
    This is why I like black and whites…Bare Bones…revealing its subject beyond immediate appearance. Layers of meaning and depth! Exposed and pondered in simple beauty. Then perhaps shared!
    You have been in my head Celi! Ah living on a rural farmy! At first I thought I was disappearing… now I know myself better than I ever did before. I like my solitude. This doesn’t mean that I don’t love people or enjoy being around them. But I am comfortable in my own company. I like Bare Bones me! Without the fine trappings or status in society. Had my life gone in another direction…I might have missed this epic life I lead! LOL
    My hubby is very quiet too. Farmers are. They know peace and value silence and don’t feel like they have to fill every minute with words. I find him easy to be with and his gentle dry sense of humor amuses me greatly! He calms my anxious heart. He soothes my soul.
    Do I want to go back to the world of stress, competition, and conflict? No mam. I am happy!
    Love all the photos today! Made me laugh and smile!
    p.s. I do miss sailing and the sound of the halyards clanging….the long deep mournful sound of the fog horn… but the raucous noise and high paced life of the city? Nope!
    “Big Fat Piggie Liar”!!!!! LMAO!!!! Definitely can’t say that to people! But the words do cross my mind! 😀 You should hear the colorful language that passes my lips when I hit my shins on something or smash one of my fingers! I mean…who the blankety blank hears me out here? 😉 From the gal who always said “Goodness gracious!” Loved the photos today!!! Big Dog looks great in his coat! The kids are enjoying life! It’s appears that chickens and pigs get along just fine! 😀 And eating well is good!!!!
    Ta ta!

  48. A beautifully written post Celia and one that I can relate to so easily. There are days when I crave solitutude – when I just want to cut and run from the conversation that’s not going anywhere, that’s pointless, becomes awkward, verging on painful… Reclusive potential in the future? Perhaps… Though my heart is always warmed by those free-flowing, relaxed and thoughtful conversations to be had from time to time with people/friends who more often than not are of a similar nature to myself. The words are not squandered and wasted on those days…

  49. Very reassuring C that we’re all normal. I’ve just had a long conversation with an Eastern yellow robin; he just nodded sagely to my discourse while waiting for me to uncover a worm. E

  50. While I am thinking about it, how is the soap coming along? Done the tongue zap test yet? lol

    Never having been a team player, even as a child I gravitated towards the solitary type sports and activities. Archery, horseback riding, etc. As an only child I grew up being by myself mostly. Now I do solitary things like spinning and weaving. Soapmaking and stained glass windows and taking care of our assorted critters and pets. We live in what is considered to be remote rural and town is 10 miles away. No people or traffic to intrude on my solitude. When I wish to talk to somebody I just have to go to the store and there everybody knows everybody else. Takes about 2 hours to get just a couple of items. There…all caught up on what is going on. Back to my farmy and quietness from humans. Chatting with the animals is much more interesting. There is a difference between being a recluse and a hermit, eh?

    Sheila is a totally wonderful piggy. Great attitude! Missed the CUTENESS today, but Sheila made up for it.

  51. I will echo everyone else, what a wonderful post. I too do well at being by myself. Having owned and operated a service type business for 20 some years I am well able to relate on a slightly superficial level with people but it’s a learned thing. There are some people I enjoy being with but after a certain amount of time I begin to feel claustrophobic and need to get away. I’ve often thought there might be something basically ‘wrong’ with me as I don’t have a group of girlfriends to whom I can bare my soul so I thank you for making me see there are many of us out there even though I heard for years that I was odd because I never desired children and it really didn’t matter to me if I married or not (from my mother no less). That said I did marry at 45, a widower who likes the tv on for background and talks to the dogs, to the tv, to himself!! Fortunately he is a hunter and fisher so goes off on his own allowing me to recharge in the quiet. At social events I often feel invisible and very often inaudible as well but I’m told I write wonderful letters (one every other week for 3-1/2 years to a step daughter in the Peace Corps) and the mental discourses I have are quite wonderful. So thank you for the validation that ‘still waters’ do indeed ‘run deep.’

  52. Excellent post Celi! We can be our true selves with animals, they don’t judge us or care what we look like . . . they love us, warts n’ all!
    My hubby can talk the hind legs off a donkey but not me – I’ve never been a talker, but I am a good listener and enjoy my own company.
    The Fellowship of the Farmy seem to have a lot in common!

  53. oh, absolutely! a recluse farmgirl. so am i. i find it easy to talk with “clients” on the job, but simple conversations amongst folks in general, so difficult. it is easier for me to talk to the animals or sing my fool head off whilst i am outdoors.

    i love your posts.
    i love your farm.

  54. Wonderful post Celi… so validating for so many of us, I now find… I thought I was the odd one out. I need silence and solitude so badly that we now have ‘Tuesday’ – on Tuesday we have silence in the house, no talking, and often we have a Tuesday on a Wednesday or Thursday or a Sunday… whenever I feel I need it… my husband just accepts it now !
    The silence becomes sacred, and I remind him that a black- American-native- American friend told me that she was brought up by her native American grandparents, and the house was silent, it being one of their beliefs that you did not speak unless you had something to say – no idle chatter. I hang in there with this piece of information… it saves my life.

  55. You just sound like a very sane person to me, Celi. That could be because I talk to myself in tongues, rage against the inanity of our society and its workings and thankfully find myself, with Jenny, in a peaceful place.

  56. I thought I was unusual – perhaps I’m not quite so. Having been brought up as an only child by my Dad and nanna in a quiet house, I was very used to amusing myself and now retired I can choose to be social or spend time doing what I love – working on the property – and arguing or singing along to the radio which I often have with me. These days I tend to forget what I want to say or I go blank in the middle of a conversation, which I just put down to getting older or early onset of something nasty. I suppose I’m saying its the conversation for the sake of making conversation that I dont do well. However, my golden retriever, Honey, talks a lot, especially when the food is late arriving. Joy

  57. Best post ever Celi! I am the eldest of 7!!!!! LOL Lots of only one child in the family above. Interesting! 😉 We are who we are..and it’s okay!

  58. I believe I would, Celi. I already spend a lot of time on my own, a lot of it outdoors on the new property, cleaning up the mess that was left behind by the former owners. I wish I could come spend a couple of days on your farmy and learn a thing or two about animals. I’ve got the space and a coop for chickens, have been thinking about guineafowl (to take care of the tick problem), but I’ve no idea what to do with them. I don’t learn well by reading. I have to read and follow it up with hands-on experience or at least someone showing me the way.

  59. I do like to see and spend some time in company, but the older I get, the more I like to come home to my own space and think my own thoughts.

  60. oh, i have the same feeling! since i am in israel i am a listener, a nodder, a loner. i started to need time for myself, all alone. and i am for sure talking to findus our cat, and now also the farm animals here… =) maybe it is an immigrants thing?

  61. I find my ability to converse has decreased over the years and thought at first it might be an age thing but a couple of my friends actually have become more verbose with age. I used to be the center of attention which I enjoyed but now it just seems like too much trouble 🙂

  62. I’ve had many of these same thoughts. For all my online blathering, small talk doesn’t come easily to me, and I often feel strangely out of step with the people I meet. Maybe this is why life out here on our tiny farmlet suits me. I can be plain-looking, awkward and introverted and that’s okay out here. There’s no shame; I can just be.

  63. Lovely post Celi. I’m reclusive. It’s the best I’ve felt in my whole life. Daisy deer got me here… alert and observant of nature and wild things, yet quiet and content to be so. I often sit in a clump of grasses or on a fallen tree and I listen to the sounds of nature. I sing to the animals, the birds and my little dogs. I’m not much of a singer by social expectations, but my pets think I’m the bomb. It took me a few years to realize that I am more alive as a recluse than I ever was in the social world. This is where I belong… and I see by this post I’m in very good company!

  64. I found thi really thought provoking. Have just spent a few days away with Big Man and was itching to get home again – I realised that the things that made me happy even 10 or 15 years ago I just don’t need or want anymore. The simple life, the quiet life, good food, conversations and silences with loved ones and time with our animals – that’s where we belong.

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