Monday, July 9, 2012

I Went to an Island

I channeled Hemingway and culled up Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s Gift from the Sea from recesses long ignored.

I went to an island. That’s where I’ve been. All last week I was surprised to discover I had absolutely no ability to connect to the outside world.
No internet access. No texting. No phone.

It took me a few days to settle into the skin of this understanding—this new non-social networking me.
Like a crab slipping from its hard outer shell, I gradually began to feel an unburdening. I unhinged from the world of blogging, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. I reconnected with something else. Me.

Morning birds trilled with more clarity. I sank into sleep at night without the flitting busyness that computer life can bring.
By observing and listening and quieting in the early dawn, I stirred the sand in my soul. Even though the hard to breathe briny air reached humid highs, my body sighed out anyway. In response to the slowing of my schedule, the slowing of my split inattention that so readily disguises itself as attention.

At the beach, waves spooled and unspooled in ribbons of frothy white, near invincible threads sewn into the shore. God weaving. Tugging back. Weaving. Tugging back. I watched the sewing tide.
My time on the island swept up an ancient dust from the corners of my conscience, dust I’d forgotten about; dust I didn’t even know was there.

I went to an island that spoke respite into me.
And while I missed connecting, in all the broad and narrow stroke ways I’ve found to do so, it became alarmingly obvious to me I needed a break.

I’m back now. Rested.

Ever been treated to a break you didn’t know you so desperately needed? Any guesses where I was? (Hint: population = approximately 709, the crustacean I mentioned in this post is a big fat clue.)


36 comments:

  1. So glad you got that break! My husband and I are more and more realizing the need for vacations that require us to disconnect from our lives. Like you, we didn't even know how much we needed that until we took our first cruise last winter and were forced offline. It was glorious! So glad you are rested and relaxed, but also glad to have you back. (I can't even begin to start guessing where you were!)

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    1. Loved the cruise we went on years ago. So many fun memories. Felt like we were fresh out of college (probably b/c we were).
      ~ Wendy

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  2. What beautiful words, Wendy. I'm so glad that you're rested! Those breaks and respites prove crucial in renewing our heart, soul and mind. Mine came when I recently went to Scotland. Prime sheep time as I followed The Shepherd's voice over grreen hills, azure lochs and craggy Highland cliffs. I can only guess you were somewhere along the New England coast. It's so beautiful there!

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    1. Ha--NE coast...not too far from home. Oh and Scotland! I'd love to visit there. Was there as a young tot. No lasting memories.
      ~ Wendy

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  3. Lobster Island?? Squid Island? Turtle?

    Not a clue.

    The first long break I had from The Outside World was in 2008 in the Bolivian Andes. 6 days. NOT a single drop of internet, no fresh phones, not even enough water to bathe. Hellllooooooo Survivor Chuquisaca (choo-kee-sah-ka).
    It was HEAVEN. Purely glorious. We all looked like, well, you know, hygiene free escapees from a Gap ad.
    But each and everyone of us felt awesome.

    I can hardly wait til October when I go again!!!

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    1. Man, that does sound like a meaningful excursion! Went on an 8 day outdoor trek like that in h.s. Loved it! Cracked up at your guesses. Crabs are the clue.
      ~ Wendy

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  4. Glad you got a break! We do need it don't we--I like them to happen when I don't plan and you really enjoy connecting in regular ways again.

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    1. Yep, those unexpected ones seem to have an extra relaxation kick attached to them.

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  5. Glad you got such a nice break! Someone told me the other day they only checked email about once a week. I was like, "Huh, I wonder what that would be like? Probably awesome." :) I don't have good guesses at where you were, but it sounds soooo lovely. Yay for being rested!!

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    1. Wowzer...that would be tough for me. I had over 500 emails to sort through and I imagine the 4th was a slow week. I'd go nuts.

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  6. No guesses here.
    But "respite" is a beautiful word, isn't it?

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    1. It is. It is. And I know you have a thing for words like I do.

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    1. The mornings were special. The trip had its dynamics--family dynamics so in other words it wasn't entirely heavenly...but I enjoyed the down times and the beach.

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  8. Oh, yes! I love those breaks. They usually come when I'm not expecting them and I have to adjust, but that way they're even better.

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    1. I'm going to refocus and look at those unexpected times differently b/c of what you wrote. My computer crashed not long ago and I struggled even then to slow down.

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  9. I have no idea what the name of the island is. But the crustacean is crab. Is there such a place as Crab Island? It sounds as if you rediscovered yourself.

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    1. Well look at that, QS, you came closest. Tilghman Island, Maryland. Population 709. Nicely done.

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  10. Sometimes a vacation away from everything is exactly what we need to get back in touch with who we are. So glad you had a wonderful time.

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  11. We went on a trip in April where we had no internet and it felt so good to unplug. I think I'm due for another one.

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    1. After a few days of laundry I'm already due for another one. ;-)

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  12. I had the week away from the Internet too. At first, it was really, really hard. Since we were on a cruise ship, it wasn't an option, though. And that was really good for me. On the one hand, I felt at first like I was missing out, and I missed everyone. On the other, the disconnection was a blessing in disguise. :) Glad to got some much-needed rest!

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    1. Yeah, I missed as well. There's just something about writer friends. Love 'em!

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  13. Sounds wonderful wherever it was. Glad you had a peaceful break.

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    1. There were certainly a few peaceful moments. Gifts.

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  14. We definitely all need those breaks, Wendy. I'm so glad you got some rest! I'm curious what island you went to.... :)

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    1. It's a small island inhabited by some super friendly people. So glad to check it out.

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  15. Yes, we definitely need those kinds of breaks.Sounds like you are more than recharged. :)

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    1. In some ways, absolutely. In other ways not so much. But in the ways that matter for being online and connecting again, yes, thankfully, yes.

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  16. Ah, just reading your words made me feel a little rested, too. I missed you last week. On a side note, I worked at the Charles A. Lindbergh House & Museum for ten years in my hometown - and I met Anne Morrow Lindbergh. I have an autographed Gift From the Sea book on my shelf. I've read all her journals and I've met many of her children and grandchildren. She was a remarkable woman who led a remarkable life. This post was very Anne-like.

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    1. What a huge compliment! And how cool about meeting Anne!

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  17. Sounds like a delightful rest! It's easy to get so busy and...cluttered with life. So glad you got a chance to get away.

    Have a good week,
    Karen

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    1. I think this happens again and again without my even being aware. Getaways are good for the soul.

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  18. Hi Wendy,

    So funny. I have felt the need for a change in the blog, facebook routine. Your rest and re-creation shows in your writing. Enjoyed your post very much.

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