As the boys are growing up, we have more times when the house is quiet. The youngest will be asleep. One will be reading, one will be playing on his computer with headphones on, one will be painting and there is stillness.
Sometimes, even that is not enough.
Sometimes I crave being alone, with no possibility of someone suddenly realising they have to tell me something important or ask me a question or even just crash about in the kitchen.
Sometimes I crave S P A C E, lots and lots of space, being able to walk from room to room without encountering another soul.
This is how I felt when I woke up this morning, so instead of getting ready for work, I decided to stay home. Get up, but not go anywhere, no hear the sound of my own voice, or anyone else's.
I think this might just be part of getting older. After a lifetime of chasing after other people and trying not to be alone, my mind and body is full of thoughts, experiences, feelings, and busy-ness and now I'm finding more and more I need quiet and solitude and expanse to unwind all that stuff and just be me.
Speaking of stuff.
I was watching a documentary about the history of the first Australians, last night, and it described how the natives of Tasmania became isolated from the rest of Australia for about 10 000 years and how in that time their tool kit didn't grow or evolve much, unlike that groups on the mainland. The Tasmanians had about 30 tools in their kit, while the other Australians developed up to 120 tools. but these Tasmanians survived for millennia with just a few tools. One man commented on the ingenuity and the simple needs of humans to live comfortably with a small number of tools. He commented on how they spent far less of their time and energy on the necessities for survival than they did on developing and enjoying their culture.
He commented on how in Western Society, we measure progress in the acquisition of more and more sophisticated tools and having to do less and less ourselves. He didn't say it, but it was there in the unspoken words and yet our life balance is completely out of whack and we are more stressed and strung out than any time in our recorded history.
I imagine the first Australians didn't crave aloneness. If they wanted silence, they only needed to walk a kilometre that way and they'd find it.
I think they were a helluva lot smarter than we are...