Friday, a friend took me to the cinema for the first time in ages. It was a great comedy, a swedish film called "I rymden finns inga känslor" (In space there are no feelings). It is about a young man, Simon, with Aspberger´s syndrome and his quest to find his brother a new girlfriend. This film has been put up as a contender for best foreign film at the Oscars!
My friend and I are both serious introverts and we do sympathise with some of the stuff Simon is doing. For example, when he wants to escape the complications of other people´s feelings (and his own) he hides in an old washing machine, resembling a barrel, that he pretends is a spaceship in orbit around the earth. My friend whispered "I want one of those!". As we left the cinema she said her "barrel" was probably her Iphone with her favourite music. When she has her headphones on, she is in "space".
I thought about that for a while and I suppose most people, introverted, autistic or plain normal, has some escape like that, an inner or outer sanctuary. I know several who long for the hunting season every year. Unlike the summer vacations, there are no unwanted social demands on the elk hunters. They get to sit in a tower in the woods for weeks, in silence, drinking coffee, eating sandwiches. Others go jogging or skiing or pick blueberries. Some play an instrument. Some read. Some bake.
My escape is my diary. I started writing it in 1992, wanting to get some perspective on myself and my life. And for eight years, it worked as an exploratory tool, something I really studied and worked with. Then, it changed. I do not write to record my life, or discover something about myself or figure out problems. The thing is just to sit and write. It doesn´t matter what. I never read it. I don´t even care about saving the diaries anymore. It´s the process, not the result, that matters. Or, actually, the real result is that I calm down, I find peace.
What is your barrel?