Into the Lonely

I hear my daughter’s strong voice through the walls. It’s bedtime, and Dad is preparing to bathe her. I am outside with a journal in my lap and pencil in my hand. I am alone.

The light is growing warmer with thick oranges and reds. The air is is still with only a thin breeze nudging the crape-myrtle my husband planted our first year of marriage. I let my mind wonder and dip, and I feel the blessing of this time. I am alone.

It’s strange that art–so connecting in nature–tends to emerge from lonely places. But then I think of Jesus and His retreat to such places. Alone, He could rest and talk and breathe apart from all but His Father. We need this time with the Father too, I think. We need to soak in His presence before spilling that presence into whatever form our artists’ hands embrace.

I don’t find these lonely places as much as I’d like. I expect the quiet nooks to present themselves to me–to appear on my planner in scheduled blocks. But I’m realizing I must seek out these times like I would seek any other treasure. There is a quest involved, which is only fitting, really, when you think of how art encourages us all on our quests.

So here is my question, fellow artist: Where and when do you retreat to the lonely?


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10 thoughts on “Into the Lonely

  1. Ahhh Sammie, how I love this. Your description alone beckons me to retreat to that place alone. I’ve noticed that I retreat while I am away from the house most of the time. In my car, a coffee shop, walking outside…

  2. It made me laugh when you said you expect your planner to just magically create lonely places. I do that too! Why does it not magically walk up to me and say hey, lonely time now…let’s go. In fact I should probably use a planner… It would actually help me carve out and plan lonely times. Thank you for talking about this. And thank you for showing me that Jesus did this too. If he did I definitely should.

    • sammiebennett on said:

      Ah, my kindred spirit. Yup, I totally feel you on expecting it to just happen. I used to use my planner lots, then tried to switch to my phone’s planner, and just in the last week or so I’m back to my old-school planner. It helps me so much.

  3. rosebudwitt on said:

    Love this, Sammie! Retreating is so simple, yet so hard to do for me sometimes! I find the best places of solitude for me are in my chair in my bedroom while Drew is asleep or when taking walks/excercising, especially outdoors.

    • sammiebennett on said:

      Amen to outdoors! I think I’m just a happier person in general when I’m outdoors. Thanks for commenting, Rosalyn! Means so much!

  4. I think it’s wonderful you find this quiet time and feel yourself connecting with God. I also look forward to these little moments away from the world where I can connect with the universe and nature. It’s so important to have that time of peace where you can hear your thoughts and let the stillness wash over you. When you’re free from the distractions of daily life, then the thoughts that become words on a page begin to form, and you find your own voice again.

    I love your description of the tree in the second paragraph, I could feel myself there, hear the leaves rustling. What a wonderful post.

  5. Pingback: Alone and Lonely with or without Money? - Daddy Lee 1969 | Daddy Lee 1969

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    Here’s mine:

    Hope you could take a look and leave some insight.

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