Progress Report #90: Complete Retreat

I’m back from two weeks of almost complete solitude at the Morris Graves Foundation Retreat. During that time I saw no one except for the caretakers. I had no contact with the outside world: no phone, no internet, no mail, no radio, no newspaper, no television. Nothing. Those are the rules of the retreat and I respect them. It was a little tougher than I thought it was going to be, which is not to say it was all that hard. I’ve had a lot of experience with solitude. But it wasn’t a breeze. The important thing is that I had the opportunity to focus on my work. I made some good progress. I’d been faced with a logjam before I left, and I got it all sorted out.

I didn’t hear any news the entire time I was up there, and I found that I didn’t miss it. When Judy picked me up, I asked her if anything heavy was happening or had happened. She told me that Obama is working hard to get approval to attack Syria. I didn’t want to know anything else. I was disgusted. I’ve continued to avoid the news since my return home.

I want to get this book finished. (I’ll write more about the retreat in the future.)


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8 Responses to “Progress Report #90: Complete Retreat”

  1. Tim Mueller Says:

    “Avoiding the news” is easy, because there isn’t any anymore. Thought I’d just, ummm, Thoreau that out there…

    • markbittner Says:

      Yeah, but sometimes I feel like I’m getting too cynical. You know, getting Snyder and Snyder.

  2. Tim Mueller Says:

    Oh, and, “Welcome back to civiliza…ummm, Welcome back to Reali…oh, hell. Welcome back to America!”

  3. Patricia. Says:

    The news is just too much of the same old thing and hard to digest!!!

  4. joe Says:

    I definitely understand your news blues,thus i offer a few cheerful bits: 17 states so far legalizing small amounts for personal use,hemp farmers pushing the envelope & the debate by planting their crops regardless of present rules,people in detroit planting guerilla gardens & feeding entire neighborhoods,people in detroit taking anyone who needs a couch to sleep on,1 genius detroit musician trapping,hunting, an exploding raccoon population & helping feed people wasting Nothing (i’ll bet he even makes something out of the bones),call girls & evangelicals sharing & fixing up the same house with found materials,I don’t approve of Rome or the catholic church or all the harm they’ve done,but the new pope?francis? Seriously defending the poor & condemning economic inequality?dispensing with ceremony & bowing before Others? saying who am i to judge gays?saying there’s room for atheists & Actions,not faith,are what count? living as spartan as you or i? we could use 15 more like him but one’s a start! The survivors of the anders brevik massacre not only not being discouraged,but instead Determined to bring left of centre democracy to an even Stronger position never mind the bullets or the hate! now that’s balls! & last but not least,check them out, peter garret & midnight oil,the band & the person,unrelentingly committed,generous & optimistic. a few sites:
    sum of us/the daily good/living green/the tyee. It is at least Some hope to see that when enough crap hits the fan Some people get their shit together! 😉

    even in the midst of apocalypse,simplicity,food & friendship remain,this is why one of my uncles refers to ww2,surprisingly,as “the good old days” he felt it often brought out the best in people,how ’bout that for a paradox? bet the dalai would have a few thoughts on that 😉

    • markbittner Says:

      Well, I’m not especially cynical. I’ve always figured that it took things getting tough for people to become more real, more compassionate. It’s when conditions are soft that people get lazy, and when they’re lazy, their egos take over. I have some hope. But things look real ugly right now. That’s the period we’re in. And I loathe the ugliness.

  5. Linda Says:

    I stopped watching or reading the news myself, I did sign a petition against attacking Syria. I don’t know who will win there, no matter, we the people of the U.S. will loose. Whichever side we aid will turn on us in the end and kill as many of our young men and women as they can. That’s the way it is and has always been. They love our money and hate us.

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