So I was sitting reading Montaigne the other night (that’s the sort of thing I get up to)…
He wrote, in an essay on solitude, that it was a good idea to have a retreat – a place to go to be alone. I like that idea. He called it a ‘back shop‘ and said that in this space we could establish a ‘conversation between us and ourselves’.
He actually did this to establish a buffer between himself and his family (should he lose them) but in doing so he found the merit and importance of a space to think, find detachment, and reflect.
A retreat; basically a shed. I would love a shed. Or a study. Or a really nice shed (with cork lined walls) that is basically a, study.
But I know this person (a woman you understand) and she told me about a guy she knew once who used to say that he had a shed in his head. A place where there are no windows and a no doors, but that I can go to, when I want or need to. A shed that I can go to and have a think, or maybe listen to some old scratchy records, and drink tea out of a chipped mug, and write in a journal.
God I want a shed.
(Some of this is from Sarah Bakewell’s ‘How to Live’ – a damn good read. It’s kind of the acceptable face of Self Help and a rather good bio of Montaigne, in one.)