Self-Isolation Reading List

Below Zero° Editor, Taylor Godber

It’s 3:16pm and I’m meant to have a engaging synopsis in by EOD about the current state of the world or what “self-isolation” means to me. And here I am, sitting in the back of a van pinning down my makeshift notepad of Clif Bar boxes from flying away in the wind. Every corner and crease scratched with blurbs and potential layouts to express my sentiments and views on the matter. The pendulum of thoughts swings across the spectrum from conspiracy theories to what some might label as spiritual woo-woo—I feel stumped in my ability to communicate.

Part of me feels like an imposter writing to those isolated inside the confines of their home, when my boyfriend I sit self-quarantined in the desert, away from the chaos, and with room to roam outdoors.

This practice of finding solace away from the buzz of the world, especially human contact, isn’t something new for us. In what some perceive as twisted, we both find an abundance of wealth within time spent in solitude. Heck we’ve paid big bucks to attend retreats where the focus was to isolate from the world, from technology, from the rampant tendencies of the monkey mind; no talking, no eye-contact, no exercising, just silence and space to be present.

I wholeheartedly wish that I could condense and convey a 300-500 word deliverance to the world, that would be logically sound and wash away the fear of the unknown, I believe everyone is feeling right now. Because even as an optimist, I feel the dampness of uncertainty too. The heaviness of this task—impossible for one human—could be the result of my writer’s block. So I’ll rest it on the words of Mr. Al Gore from his book The Future, of which landed in my lap at the most idealistic of times.

“Our natural and healthy preference for optimism about the future is difficult to reconcile with the gnawing concerns expressed by man that all is not well, and that left to its own devices the future may be unfolding in ways that threaten some of the human values we most cherish. The future, in other words, now casts a shadow upon the present. It may be comforting, but of little practical use, to say “I am an optimist!” Optimism is a form of prayer. Prayer does, in my personal view, have genuine spiritual power. But I also believe, in the words of the old African saying, “When you pray, move your feet.” Prayer without action, like optimism without engagement, is passive aggression toward the future.”
-Al Gore, The Future

I’ll leave you with something to contemplate with the time and space we have been gifted to slow-down: what will you pray for and put into action from the heart?

I hope that the content that we, the Mountain Life family, are able to share with you will inspire your next adventure and spark off-shoots of thought that lead to the answer to this question.