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This project is from the Summer of 2010 and is now archived. Visit the IMA Island page for the next related project.

Week of “Solitude”-Day 1

So, this week is the official start of my week of “solitude”.  I will be the only inhabitant on the island and I will not use my cellphone or facebook.  Of course, I still must communicate with the IMA, do tours, collect messages, etc. so there will be some amount of communication.

Last week from Monday-Saturday, I was here by myself except for when Mike came to do interviews together with PBS, so I sort of got a taste of  “solitude.”  Doing all of our island duties we proposed is quite exhausting on your own (especially in the heat)!  I am so glad Mike and I are working together most weeks on the project, because there is a lot to do!  Anyway, I was still able to receive many visitors last week since I had my birthday.  This week should be a lot more quiet…closer to solitude.  Turning off my phone and taking a break from social networking does not worry me much considering I was in Germany for almost a month.  There, I did not use my phone, and I did not use the internet much.  I look forward to experiencing the simple life again…just living in the now, doing simple tasks, reading, writing, drawing.

I have been reading a lot on the island.  I finished the Little Prince and now I am reading A Walk in the Woods.  Last night when I was reading, I was getting paranoid because of the way Bill Bryson speaks about solitude in nature…no one can help you right away when you are alone.  If a bear attacks you, then your flesh will just disappear into the woods.  You could be missing for months.  LUCKILY, there are no bears here AND we have wonderful 24-hr security I call right up on the radio.  Still, I grew paranoid about MYSELF.  What if I CHOKE on a piece of granola?  Who will save me?

I also began to think about THIS particular “immersion” into “nature.”  (Yes, I am getting quote-happy.)  I live in a white dome carved out of foam and coated with fiberglass, floating on a lake from an old quarry.  There are art pieces everywhere, thousands of visitors, Visitor’s Pavilion, constant security, and the constant hum of I-65 in the background.  Nature juxtaposed with art and institution…what an interesting dynamic.  This combination has provided such a unique experience and I find myself questioning what kind of environment I am supposed to embrace in my life. 

I love nature and I love the city.  I love being social, yet sometimes I get reclusive.  I love human-made synthetic objects, yet I love nature.  I am a walking dichotomy and this, THIS Indianapolis Island is my perfect home.

2 Responses to “Week of “Solitude”-Day 1”

  • I love this post. It sounds like solitude has already given you a chance for some great personal reflection. It’s so interesting to think about the things we surround ourselves with, the environments we choose, and how these things define us and shape our daily lives.

    I am so enjoying following along with your project. Thanks for sharing it with us!

  • Jessica Says:

    Thanks for reading!

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