Hiding in Plain Sight

For the handful of you who check in here every now and then, I thought I should explain my absence.

I’m taking a break from my life. Indeed, it wouldn’t be much of a stretch to say that I’ve run away from home.

One morning about four weeks ago, I woke up in my own bed never suspecting that I would fall asleep that very night, two hours and over 100 miles away, in an empty condo in the California desert. Spontaneity aside, what surprises me most is that I’m still here, alone and with no immediate plans to return home, taking an emotional and spiritual inventory and trying to figure out how best to live the next chapter of my life.

It’s beautiful here, exquisitely quiet (summer, of course, being the off-season), but lonely, too. I read and write, mostly, and take photographs. I swim or take a long walk most evenings, which are, without fail, the loveliest time of day here.

What I’ve learned so far: I love living with what are, for me, the bare essentials. I feel lighter here with just my summer clothes, my camera and laptop, my journal, and a box of books. In spite of the sometimes oppressive heat, I feel refreshed somehow if only for the fact I have fewer choices.

There is no Internet access where I’m staying and I’ve found the act of unplugging to be liberating. I check my email every few days at the public library which is where I sit now, writing this.

If I take one thing away from this experience it will be the realization that I need more balance and more boundaries when it comes to the Internet. I’ve learned that, for me, life is best lived offline and in the real world.

That said, I will be back.

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