This past weekend was solo weekend, meaning that everyone in the semester was given a small plot of land on the shores of Chewonki Neck and was free to spend a two nights out in the woods and do as they please. Well this might seem dull or scary to some, it was actually quite fun, at least for me. It was a great way for me to just sit around and think for a few days, without having to worry about needing to do anything. I was able to just sit down, relax, and reflect. And that’s exactly what I did. I was located on the northeast side of the Neck, right at the ends of the tidal flats, which allowed me to spend lots of time exploring during the low tide. When I wasn’t off exploring though I spent the majority of the time on the banks of my spot just sitting on a rock, thinking, and writing. Having so much time to think gave me lots of opportunities to think and reflect about things that I wouldn’t have normally though about. It also gave me tons of time to journal what I had been thinking about, which was really interesting, at least for me, because I am not usually a person who writes things down. In fact, I wrote so much that by the end I had 31.5 pages of writing down in my journal.
One of the fears for most people going into solos is that they are going to be bored, that they are going to get tired of just sitting around with nothing to do for a few days. It was one of my concerns going into solos, but it definitely wasn’t my biggest. I knew that I would always find something to do. However, when I was on solos about midway through my second day I was exploring my site and thinking about something or other when the following thoughts came to me:
Saturday-April 25th 2015
I was thinking about being bored earlier. I can’t say that I’ve been bored during this solo, at least not in the normal way that I experience boredom. When I think of being bored, I think of being at home in the summer and being tired of going on the internet and not having a project going and not knowing what to do with myself to keep me entertained. This is nothing at all like what I’ve experienced during this solo. During this solo I’ve been doing nothing at all at times but I still haven’t been bored. Instead I have just sat and thought. Sometimes I’ve thought about things and sometimes I’ve thought about nothing at all. I’ve walked out to the points of my tidal flat and just stopped and done nothing for 15 minutes and still have not been bored. I haven’t found myself asking what I should be doing now or what I should be doing next. I’ve just been doing things as they come along. I know a lot of people were worried coming into solos that they would get bored because they wouldn’t know what to do. But I think that’s the beauty of solos, you don’t know what to do and you don’t need to know. You can just be. You can do something or think about something but you can also do nothing or think about nothing, it doesn’t matter. Solos are just about living right here, right now.
(taken from my journal).
Overall though, I think being bored is something that is unique to individuals, just like every person’s solo was unique to them. When I returned back on Sunday afternoon each person had a different story to tell and a different impression about solos. Some people loved their solos, never having a dull moment. Others slept the whole time. Others were scared and spent the majority of their time underneath their tarp. So, while my experience with boredom may ring true to me, I don’t think it rang true with everyone. And that’s okay.
By Elly Thomas (George School, Newtown PA)