Isolation. We often equate this word with the dreaded mark of a highly communicable disease, a quarantine to protect those unaffected. Isolation is too often taken to be a kind of a social dysfunction, a shriveling of the virtual connective tissue which allows one person to reach out to the other.
I have lived since the 4th of June in relative isolation, on a remote ranch, some forty five minutes from the nearest town in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. The cabin was shared between the ranch hand, the owner, and myself off and on again through July. Since August, it has been mostly just me, alone.
In this space and time I am rediscovering isolation as a celebration of something far greater than how I interact with others, far more joyful than how I do or do not tell a joke at the right time, listen with full intent, or lead a conversation.
With nothing more than my thoughts and my surroundings, I have found simplicity, equality, and importance in all that I do such that waking with the sun rise, reading a chapter in a book, baking bread, chasing a coyote along an elk trail in the woods, and writing are of equal importance. No one task trumps the other. I move effortlessly from one to the next, without anxiety or concern for what is right or wrong, better or worse.
In isolation I have let go of any sense of good. In isolation I have found appreciation for every thing I do. Nothing is without reason. Nor is any one thing terribly important. Every hour of every day, each step I take simply unfolds.
In this state of equilibrium there is a kind of flow that carries me from morning ’till night, the isolation itself turning inside out when I realize I never was, nor am I now truly alone for all I need and desire is right here, inside me, all along.