Thursday, February 12, 2009


One of my favorite people in the world, Jen Lemen, is going into her cave to do some soul work for a while. I already miss her words and art work, her stories and challenges. I sooooo wish I lived closer to her so that I could be one of the lucky ones who gets to sit on her couch and hold her hand. Who gets to listen to her rich stories. Look at her detailed photos. Appreciate her paintings. And dry her tears also. I wish her and her soul much light and love as she burrows down into her cave for some deep sleep, rejuvenation, nourishment, and whatever else she needs.

But her post got me to thinking... her posts always get me to thinking, so this is not a departure from the norm.

Anyway, I started off being jealous, of course. I would LOVE to get away. To leave behind the demands of my life, the chores, the bills, the worries, the expectations that aren't met for me and the ones that I don't meet for others, the disappointments I experience and the ones I hand to others, the phone calls that I wish were longer, the phone calls that I wish were shorter, the bad news about the economy and the ongoing wars all around the world. Oh to be able to breathe with my head comfortably buried in the sand of Sunset Beach...

So I ponder the bliss of hibernation.
To go away. Take a break. Sleep.
Eat only what is necessary for survival.
Sitting quietly. Sit silently.
Ponder. Pray.
Meditate. Meander.
Dream. Imagine.
Wonder. Wander.

I got to thinking about the cave itself.
What would I want in my cave if I were to go into hibernation?
Besides my journal and markers.
A teapot and several loose leaf teas I love.
An ongoing subscription to Skirt magazine, a pair of scissors, and several glue sticks.
Thick socks, my slippers, and the ancient purple robe I cherish.
A stack of simple cotton tee shirts, two denim skirts, and my black Keens.
A denim jacket and striped scarf for cool mornings.
A fluffy down pillow and its matching comforter.
Sandalwood incense and luna candles.
Several boxes of tissues.
My camera, for when I sneak out of the cave and explore the surroundings
And a hole in the top of the cave so that I could see the full moon when it rose.

Sure, there would be food, but I wouldn't have to cook it. It would be brought to me.
There would also be running hot water for showers and foot baths.
And a flush toilet, of course. I'm not about to dig a latrine in the cave.

Okay, so this is beginning to sound a little ridiculous and a lot spoiled. I look back at the silly list above and the links to all the unnecessary loot, and I am amazing by how much of a greedy, earth-depleting consumer I really am. (In my defense, the robe I have is so old that Land's End no longer even sells it. The link provided here is the one that most resembles my robe, which is a deep, dark, royal purple... and also a little frayed and bleached out around the collar.)

If I'm gonna hibernate, I need to just go to sleep, not merely take my rather pampered life over the river and through the woods in order to take over some other creature's cave.

I guess I'm not ready to hibernate.
I guess I'm still a little too attached to my stuff.
A little too concerned with my creature comforts.
So I may as well stay here.

Perhaps someday soon I will be as evolved as Jen and figure out a way to just walk away, crawl into a hole, and hibernate. Sans overstuffed suitcases.

Of course, I have no idea what Jen is doing, where she is going, or whether or not she has embarked on an overstuffed suitcase-laden journey of her own. In any case, I wish her traveling mercies.

No matter what she does, I should probably haul myself back to the mall and return a few of these candles...

Addendum - This has nothing to do with being in a cave... I was browsing a favorite website of mine this evening, a website for women who travel. Last year, I sent a comment to the site. They included my comment in their next newsletter. At the end of the year, they published a "Best of 2008" newsletter - and my comment made it onto that list. Check it out here. Scroll down and look for "Don't feel bad if you feel bad." That's me!!!


Amy said...


I am in desperate need of some soul work and going into a cave. I plan to do a day-long private retreat soon at a lovely center near here. It has ponds, geese, prayer rooms ... all I need ... and only the sounds of nature. I've been thinking of going into my cave during Lent and not blogging for a while. I need clarity and answers in my life right now.

I'm with you on the latrine thing-no holes for me!- and I LOVE Skirt! We have it here, too.

jena strong said...

Ridiculous, spoiled, delicious, so much I need, too.

Would you believe what came into my inbox today?

Now, for money to fall from the sky.

Much love and permission to you.

Lisa said...

Hmmmm...interesting post, dear Gail.

However, after reading Jena's comment ~ and checking out the site for the link she provided ~ I'm inclined to say:

Caves are overrated! Let's get ourselves that villa in France!!!

GailNHB said...

I agree, Lisa. That villa would be pretty awesome. I think we'd need about 15 people to make it affordable, huh???

Jena, thanks for the link to that amazing place. Yes, let's pray for it to rain $100 bills.

Amy, a one-day retreat sounds great. Like something I need to look into myself. And soon. Lisa keeps telling me I need to get away... I've just gotta go ahead and do it.

Lori said...

Okay, I think you need the villa. As long as I can come and can have my own room. But seriously, my question to you is when are you going to go to your cave and write that book I am waiting for.

Lori said...

Okay, I've never been to France but Im much too fond of Italy. So if I were going to go to a cave and write, this would be my place.

One plus would be, we have a cook. If I had to cook it would take the creative writing edge away.
Just a thought.

My dream would be to retire to Italy. Only one problem the Euro.
And right now are American Economy.

Smell Goods Lady said...

Enjoyed this post! Laughing at your "spoiled" ways. Always honest.