“Raven’s Bread is a quarterly newsletter (FEB-MAY-AUG-NOV) for hermits and those interested in eremitical life published by Paul and Karen Fredette. It affirms and supports people living in solitude.”
In each issue readers are asked to write their thoughts about a particular topic. Responses are then posted in the next newsletter. The topic for the upcoming November 2014 is as follows:
“Even hermits need opportunities to relax and wind down in the course of their day or week. What do you do to give yourself some needed mental and physical relaxation? What do you consider appropriate forms of exercise? How much time do you believe should be devoted to exercise and relaxation?”
Here’s my contribution.
“I wind down and relax with a jigsaw puzzle. Whether I am at home or at the cottage by the sea that I rent in the winter, I always have a puzzle going. After the intensity of writing or reading, when I can think anymore, when my brain needs a change of pace, I sit down for a half hour or so at my puzzle table. The puzzle immediately takes me ‘out of my head’ and brings me to the present moment in a unique, one-of-a-kind way. I’m continually amazed that my concentration instantly shift from the thoughts and activities of my every day life to a specific puzzle piece and my sole job of finding its home.
“I am rather particular about the puzzles I do: 500-1000 pieces: pictures that are aesthetically pleasing and that express hope: scenes with details that I can match with the individual puzzle pieces. My favorites are from Medieval and Renaissance art.
“I get my puzzles at yard sales and sometimes I buy a new one. The best part is sharing among friends. You’d be surprised at the number I people you know who love to relax and wind down with a puzzle. I was.”