eSalon, this morning. eSalon always seems to give me ideas for posts. And this is one of them.

My dear Salonistes were, as they always are, very complimentary about the discipline with which I approach my writing. I wonder whether I deserve that praise.

For a creative—of any sort, I imagine—isolation is a double-edged gift. Alone-ness gives the writer the room to explore and the time in which to do it.

Even with the demands of a full-time job, fiction fills the spirit. Always has. The creating of characters makes one whole; it compensates for the voices that don’t raise a greeting when one returns home; the Other whose presence is a testimony to one’s days.

I am, by nature, a solitary sort, self-sufficient and self-sustaining. The music in my head is mostly always enough company for me. I guess I’ve always been that way. Those folks who can carry on relationships and still fulfill the “asks” of creativity? I am filled with admiration for them. I don’t exactly belong to that tribe. I see their campfires in the distance, but I rarely invite my self over for the weenie roast.

Another analogy: I cook for myself…elaborately, sometimes, and with great care. And I adore the act of cooking for the few, cherished others in my life. One aim, opposite poles. Are we starting to see a pattern here?

One might suggest that writing is a desire come into the light…the expression of a need for the company of others. An argument might be made for that point of view. We write to be read. We sing to be heard. We paint and dance and create poetry to draw from ourselves some unique hold upon the beauty of thought. And we do it to see it shared.

But being around others…there is, sometimes too much energy there. I can feel it, hear it, knowing that another person is near. I cannot not-know that another soul is present. I cannot not-attend to them. I tune myself to them, their mood, their thoughts. Like an emotional sponge, I soak them up. I am an open nerve ending. Can’t help it: It is my nature.

And still. I cherish my quiet. The quiet solitude that lets me create the imagined worlds in which I live. I love it…just as much as I love knowing that somewhere, sometime, I am the cherished subject of someone else’s thoughts.

P.S. Next week, my 600th post. Stay tuned…