August 2015 archive
Day-Dreaming, Detail. by Conrad Kiesel (1846-1921)
I’m recovering from a long trip, and I feel too tired to write. But I look through my draft folder again and find more posts, that I was afraid to publish for one reason or another. I’m often stuck between my need to share, and the worry that it’s too much, of what people might think.
Quiet quiet, there is so much noise. Let me be quiet and hear the rustle of leaves, the wind through the grass. Let me sit by the lake and watch the waves come towards me, glittering like pearls, (like specks of diamond on blue waves). Let me be present in everything, and listen, hear the voice of spirit, and see the hidden teachings in every little thing.
I feel I have not lived my life for myself, and even when I did, a little, I put up boundaries and said, no more than this, I can’t go further than this, it’s nor right, not proper, too self-indulgent.
I listened too much to the voice of the world, and not the whispers inside, quiet nudges guiding me. But I’m tired now. Tired of squeezing myself to fit in, and becoming so small it hurts.
I wonder if I can follow my own path, and not worry so much about what people might think. To let it be between me and the divine, and not leave my own self to please others. Can I feel I have value, can I feel loved, even when people don’t approve, don’t like me?
Can I go through my writing and honor what I felt at the time, not judge and tear it apart, but read through it quietly, softly, with an open heart. Listen with my soul to what I’ve been through, to what I’ve become.
I’m in a different place right now, away from my regular routine. It’s easier then to pick something from my draft folder, that for one reason or another never got published, until now. This was written sometime in July.
Last Sunday I walked among the wide the open spaces, and quiet lakes of the mountain. I felt a peace up there, like everything belonged, like everything had a purpose.
I stopped by a body of water, glittering in the sunlight. There was no sound, only a deep silence, and yet I thought I could hear, or feel the movements in the water, little waves in the wind. It was a place outside of time, and my anger, my worries did not belong there, could not live there, and I gave them up as I walked, letting them seep into the earth beneath me.
I watched the trees, and how each one was its own being, had a presence that was unique, even among the same type of trees. I felt the forest would not be as beautiful if they were all the same, and I would not learn as much.
I thought of my big beautiful oak while lying in bed one night, and how I had touched it for a long time, and felt a response, as though it said hello, and knew I was there. I felt it was teaching me to be quiet in myself, and stay strong in the moment, no matter what.
I liked the feeling of my hands against its bark, how it made my worries seem small as I stepped out of myself, for a moment seeing the world as it truly is.
I lay in my bed and remembered they wanted to cut it down, and I felt pain, and did not want to linger on that thought much longer. I was surprised at the hurt I felt, and understood that to me, that tree was now special, a friend, a teacher, and I felt connected to it. If it was cut down it would also wound something inside of me.
It made me think of what’s real, and what’s imaginary. If there is much more this world than we are taught to believe.
Up there in the mountains I picked blueberries, a mushroom, and heather to bring back home. I saw a toad, beautiful dragonflies, and a baby bird calling for its mother.
I still feel soft going back there in memory. I wish to feel the same softness here where I’m sitting now.
Looking at the trees outside I feel them calling me, and so I’ll step outside again, and breathe deeply, sit on the rocks by the lake, watch the sun slip behind the mountain.
Edward Robert Hughes
I need time to be silent, to let the river trickle through me, reaching for the light.
I make chai, one cup, two cups, pounding the cardamom in my mortar and pestle. I like the scent of spice, the movements of my body, the way it soothes me, like I’m meditating awake.
Cinnamon, ginger, clove, cardamom, all blend together. I breathe and look out the window, quieting myself with the silence of trees, the whiteness of the sky. I do this because I so easily get anxious, over every little thing.
Sometimes I get up early without meaning to. The light is too bright, and I can’t get back to sleep, so I rise and go outside, breathing the morning air.
Today smells like the mountain. There is a sweetness in the air, perhaps of heather blooming, and I think back to my childhood at our cabin, and my many mornings there.
I look down, and see a white water lily, floating in the water. I’m not sure where she came from, maybe drifted here over night, or sprung up from the darkness of the lake. She makes me think of a beautiful world behind a thin veil, that we can sense, even touch, when we’re quiet and still.
The Lady of Shalott – Arthur Hughes
I heard heavy claps of thunder deep in the night, and saw flashes of light behind my closed eyelids. My window was wide open and I could hear the rain come down heavily, and I silently asked for protection, having the strange idea that lightning would strike through my bedroom.
My husband and I went for a drive, just to look at things, to see if that hid away road had changed any since last we were there. I sat in silence, feeling somehow exhausted, and looked out on the gathering evening, the wet fields and dark glistening mountains.
I saw a ghost forest of tall straight firs, the mist rising behind it. Everything seemed silver and strange, like the real world had disappeared, being replaced by something else, something dark and wondrous.
I liked the many twists and turns of the road, and all the black lakes, so still, making me think for a moment there was a giant hole in the ground, that someone could fall into.
The rain came down heavier when we returned home, and there were more yellow leaves that I remembered, the evening seeming wilder, darker, not quite summer, not yet autumn.
The Madonna of the Lakes, 1917 by Sir John Lavery
This is something I wrote in the beginning of last month. Sometimes I don’t share my words because I’m a little afraid to them.
I want is a life dedicated to the Goddess, to grow a rose inside, to let it open and bloom. To walk in quiet peace because I’m with her, even when the winds turn icy cold.
I want to be with her in everything, look for her, like a glimmering light between the trees.
I don’t want to be cold and alone, but filled up with beauty, love, and know I’ll never be abandoned.
I read somewhere about painful things happening for us, not to us. At some deep level I feel this is true, that the loss I’ve been through has some use, some beauty. That it’s opening me up, teaching me, preparing me for something.
Maybe the divine loves us even as they bring us pain, and maybe there are angels of light that never leave our side in our darkness.
I reflect on these things as I try to understand, try to heal, to let go of my anger. An old anger, from when I thought they didn’t care, thought I was abandoned by God. But as as soon as I asked for help everything changed.
I feel suffering makes us beautiful, if we transform it into light.
Something I wrote a while ago, in the beginning of July.
It’s almost midnight when I step outside, the sky full of clouds and pale light. I hear chimes from across the lake, perhaps sheep grazing on one of the islands. An owl hoots once and is silent. I walk down a slope of grass, of flowers glowing white in the night, and stand on the rocks again, feeling a little afraid of the dark water, of the lake so still, so silent.
I see ripples, something swimming, and I realize its fish catching bugs floating on the surface. I hesitate, before leaving the towel on the stone, stepping forward, the sound of wet sand and water breaking the silence all around me.
I feel small, and a little wild, alone in all this darkness, of black mountains and trees, and a silver sky. The water is colder than yesterday, and I linger a little before finally going in, swimming towards the west, watching the clouds.
I swim until I’m tired, until my arms ache a little, and then struggle up on the sand that appears suddenly beneath me close to land, and walk back to my rocks, to my towel and shoes. I dry myself, watching the lake, like a black mirror, full of sky and mountains. I can make out one pale star above the water, the only one bright enough to show this time of year.
I go back up the slope before the mosquitoes can get to me, and stop to lean on the great oak for a moment, as I often do. It feels like a friend, and sometimes I imagine it knows me, recognizes me. My hands feel warm against its bark, and soon my whole body is warm, and I think I feel a smile, and strength going through me. I leave, whispering thanks, and continue along the road, my towel around my shoulders.
Catching the stars in your cloak ….. Marianne Stokes (1855-1927)
One day I’d like to invite someone in for tea, herbal tea and cookies. Something made from lavender, or rose.
I’ll have crystals and flowers in my window sills, and we’ll sit for a moment of silence, watching white light or rain fall on glass, hear the sweet sound of chimes in the wind.
Then they’ll talk, and I’ll listen, and see a flame trapped inside. I’ll show them their light, their beauty, what they can bring to the world, and to themselves. Maybe I’ll speak of the Goddess, if I feel they want to know her, – the true healer of hearts, and I’ll let them talk, and cry, until the river is spent, and the sky clears, if only for a moment.
I want to create a place of healing for them, with fragrances, incense, sacred oils. A place beyond time, to rest, to recover, to remember the spirit, and dreams of the heart.
I feel this place inside of me, in a house of white walls, and I wish for it to be created, some day, when everything is ready. When I’m ready. Perhaps one day we’ll all bless ourselves and others, touching the world with our dreams.
It was the farmer’s market that brought this back to me, and the woman at her stall, surrounded by lavender. I bought herbs from her, and she gave me apple mint tea, and I wanted to linger for a while, because the sweetness of that place felt like something I needed.
I feel we can bring so much healing to others, by sharing of ourselves, our gifts.
I felt it was a day of dreams, and spirit speaking. I bought a book on sale, that I had wanted to read again. It sat alone outside the shop, waiting for me, a book about daring to live our dreams. Dare your life, it said.
I did share a little of myself that day. I went to the hairdresser, and felt shy, as I always do when I feel I’m expected to talk, to somehow entertain others. What I really wanted was to read or close my eyes, but that felt a little rude, so I politely responding to his questions as best I could.
Then I felt more comfortable asking him questions, about his life, his dreams even, as I had shared that I wanted to write a book.
And he told me many things, interesting things, that you would never know from just looking at someone. And he said he too wanted to write, but he didn’t think he had the time, didn’t think he could do it. And yet, he seemed inspired, and that uplifted me, and I hoped he would honor his desire to create something, to share stories from his life.
I told him I actually had written a book, a very short one, and I gave him the name of it. He looked it up and said he would check it out, and seemed sincere. Again felt very shy, but grateful, happy even. I was glad that I had written that little book, and didn’t feel so much like tearing it apart like I often want with things I create. I felt grateful that I had tried, that I had written something from the heart, from a place deep within and put it out there. Because I wanted to, hoping it could bring a bit of light to someone.
What do you dream of?
I’m sharing a video in Norwegian, but with English subtitles. It’s an interview with the author of Dare Your Life.
I swam the other direction this time, where the lake stretches into the fjord, and I was drawn towards the clouds that lay low against the mountains, brewing with rain.
The lake was cold and I swam quickly to stay warm, through the almost still water, the surface black, with a quiet silver sheen.
Some days feel murky, lethargic and it’s hard to do anything. Being outside helps me breathe, helps me think and feel again.
It’s in nature that the words come, and looking around me in the water I felt poetry was all around me, that it was in the lake, the sky, the trees and mountains.
I looked up and saw the eagle circling under a dark sky, and I stood still, threading water, watching him go round and round. I followed him for a bit, past the yellow water lilies, until he turned right towards the mountains, becoming a black speck in the sky.
Truth speaks inwardly, without sound or words – Thomas a Kempis, The Imitation of Christ.
I wish I could be in her arms, fall asleep to her song, feel the stars in her hair as I drift through the night, clinging to her, like a child afraid to be lost, to fall into the darkness below.
I want to be held by her as I learn to walk on my own, to trust my instincts and the call of my heart.
I wish to know that she loves the path I’m on, that it’s what she wanted for me. For me to be happy and filled with light, discovering the gifts that she put inside of me.
I wish to go to her every day, and whisper, mother mother, be with me, hold my hand, love me, never let me be alone.
There is soft rain on leaves, a bird singing in this dark, grey morning. I heard thunder as I woke up, but it never came any closer, which made a little sad. I would like to feel the power of the storm, from the safety of my own home, let it awaken something in me.
I wrote a long letter to the Goddess, because I felt frail, felt despair that had crept into me in the dark hours of the night. It would not let go unless I wrote about it, spoke with her, and let it fall off me like dust on wings.
I feel lighter when I write, like something inside of me can breathe, grow. A tiny spark of light daring to trust, to hope, believe in joy and the simple beauties of life. Trusting in the path I’ve chosen, that it will lead somewhere.
Henry Ryland (1856–1924)
When Sunday comes, time stops, and I can only write and be silent, reaching for soft, gentle things.
Today is white, quiet, cold, while yesterday was sunny and bright, full of wind and shadows dancing.
Yesterday I bought raw goat cheese at the fair, and I wanted to hug the man selling it, for letting his goats graze in high places where the grass is lush and green. The way he spoke about his goats me feel he loved them very much. He said that when you treat them well, their milk is sweet.
I hoped more people would buy from him, to support his work, because I sensed it wasn’t easy to sell enough cheese when it’s a little more expensive. But I ate it and it felt like a deeply nourishing, living food, so different form what I get at the store. I wish I could always eat food made with love, fresh from the mountains, earth, forest.
I drink my rose tea and look out on things, the world outside my window. There is no movement, no sound, and it makes me sleepy, like I want to curl into myself, close my eyes and dream.
Maybe I can’t be a decent person unless I write, unless I’m filled with something greater than myself, reaching for the divine with my words, circling closer to my core, realizing we’re all connected.
Today makes me think about autumn, what it will be like when the days turn cold, rainy, sometimes filled with golden sunlight.
Later I’ll walk a straight path through the forest, and I would like to be soft, wrapped in wool, but it’s still too warm. Autumn makes me think such things. But I’ll pick blueberries, raspberries and look for mushrooms between the trees, among the moss and heather.
Let me write, I whisper to the day. I need time, there is still something unresolved in me, something weighting on me, wanting to be set free.