The photo above is a real place. Someone really lives in that house on the rock. You can see it on Google Maps, just off the coast of Rhode Island.
It’s called Clingstone. There’s a full gallery of photos if you want to look inside.
I don’t know about you, but for me, Clingstone – the house, the island, the photo, the very idea of it – is captivating.
I’ve written before about my fascination with remote places, but this is a little different. After all, Clingstone isn’t really remote; it sits just a few hundred feet offshore, surrounded by other islands and the city of Newport.
But it’s a place you could go to be alone, and some days, that sounds pretty good.
I was reading somewhere about the difference between introverts and extroverts. For extroverts, being around people is a way to recharge. They draw energy from social interaction. For introverts, it’s the opposite. Interaction costs energy.
If someone invites me to a get-together after work, I hesitate. It’s not that I don’t like people. It’s just that spending time with them is…expensive, even when it’s “free.”
Part of the reason Betsy and I are so happy together, is that spending time with each other is very inexpensive, in terms of energy. We’ve often remarked that when we’re together, we both feel like we’re alone. Not that we don’t talk, or enjoy each other’s company – quite the opposite. But rather, as introverts, the work it takes to be with each other is near zero.
I’m more introverted than she is. I could be alone, totally alone, for a week or so before I’d start to get lonely. For her, I think it’s more like a couple days. But I know people who’d be perfectly happy with months of solitude, and I know people who wouldn’t make it an hour.
What kind of person are you? How long would you want to be alone someplace like Clingstone?