I’ve been reading Bill Dedman’s Empty Mansions, which tells the story of the heiress Huguette Clark. I marvel that she was able to withdraw from the world and live for fifty or more years in seclusion, that she had so much wealth that she was insulated, apparently, from the worries that may plague ordinary people. It were as if her ample means enabled her to live a completely peaceful life, undisturbed by the annoyances of social discourse. She lived as a recluse.
The writer’s life is necessarily isolated. One can’t be highly engaged with people and write. My own writing is easily disrupted, and of late, more disrupted by mundane matters of day-to-day living. These can derail creativity, which exists as a dormant seed that only germinates under certain conditions. I have longed for the means to live as a recluse. Not lavishly, but with means sufficient to never read job ads or ponder how to craft a resume to attract the attention of a possible employer.
These two thoughts are balanced with yet another perspective. I’ve also been reading the Dalai Lama. In How to Practice he states: To create the foundation for a potential spiritual state devoid of suffering and limitation, we need to engage in the following practice:
- Identify the ten nonvirtues.
- Identify the ten virtues (which are the opposite of those nonvitues).
- Abandon the former and adopt the latter.
One of the verbal nonvirtues is senseless chatter. It all sounds so simple and within reach. I wonder where blogs figure in this.