I didn’t know I was a writer. I didn’t know I had stories in my head when I looked at things, didn’t know I could have an outlet for everything I was feeling. I guess we all go through that, thinking everyone is seeing the world in the same way, and that we have no unique skills of our own. Nothing of value to offer, and that we can only do something creative if we’re uniquely skilled from the start. If our teacher had come over to us and proclaimed us a writer, an artist, a musician, etc. I was never particularly good at anything. There was always someone better than me, especially at writing, so I didn’t even consider being a writer. But I also had never found a way to use my own unique voice. And now I don’t think I can stop writing. It would make me too restless and sad. It’s a new and exciting path for me. One that I’m still learning about. And it’s made me a lot happier.
But I think I’m a listener more than a writer, really. I mean, that’s what I always went back to as a child, the listening. I was listening to the world, to the sky, to some voice that was no voice at all. More like a feeling perhaps. Or maybe this is what a writer is. And it’s what I most love to do above all, just simply sit, walk or stand and listen, feel into something unseen. Reach for something that I’ve forgotten, that some deep part of me still remembers.
On a different note….spring is almost here. The Spring Equinox is on Monday and I’m preparing for it with some friends. We’ve been gathering in a forest, and that’s my favorite part of it I think, being in a forest with friends.
Spring is gathering outside, filling the world with wildflowers. The other day I stood in the forest, a light, cool spring rain singing through the trees. It was just beautiful. I can still hear it, feel it, my face turned towards the sky.
There’s blue star shaped flowers on the ground, growing in blankets among the trees. I know this flower, if only through song. I know its white cousin very well because it filled the fields behind our house where I grew up, but the blue one never showed itself. It grew in other parts of Norway, (now I’ve moved to Slovenia). But my dad would sing a song about it, and I also sang it to him one day while we were walking by the river when he was feeling depressed. I wanted to remind him of beauty, of magic, of joy.
It’s a simple song. About someone receiving a bouquet of these blue flowers from a young girl in a forest. In return, he gives her a few coins to buy some chocolate, but as she happily skips away from him, he reflects that he has never before received such a rich gift, and in truth, it was she who was good towards him, not the other way around.
My dad would sing me different songs while growing up. One was about a girl living in a forest.
“I know a little girl, yes I know her so well, I know a little girl north in the woods.”
And my mom would sing about a girl who asks the southern wind to not touch the veil on her hatbecause she needs to look beautiful for her beloved.
“And the girl asked the southern wind, don’t touch the veil on my hat. It needs to be nice and clean for my beloved. With a hat with a veil and silken straw. A dress with lace along the neck, two white shoes with ribbons, and socks as clear as day.”
Silly little songs that I still remember, if only the first sentence of it. Hearing them again always brings me back to my childhood. Do you know songs like that?
I wanted to write about Iceland sooner. But then I got sick and life carried me along with it. What I will remember most is how it felt to return to the wild north. To be in a place somewhat untamed by people. The houses in the countryside seemed almost lost, swallowed uplike they didn’t quite belong among the fields and mountains. And I loved all the streams and rivers and small lakes that you could drink from. The fresh air, and the blue light of the mornings, and the smell of snow. I loved the steam that would rise up here and there from the ground. It was such a strange sight. And I liked seeing the small Icelandic horses along the road. The place was full of them.
I felt at home in Iceland. In Reykjavik, I went for a long walk along the ocean in the heavy snow that had fallen overnight. I always have to go to the ocean when I can. I like to stand and watch the horizon, to feel what might lie beyond it, and listen to the distant voice of the sea.
But now I’m back in Slovenia and waiting for the Spring Equinox. Everything is coming back to life. Can you feel it? Or perhaps autumn is coming to where you are, and you feel things falling away? Wishing you beauty, love, light.
We had a small storm today, here in Reykjavik. I spent the morning and early afternoon indoors, growing restless, watching the trees wave outside my window. And then I felt it call to me, that wind, and the sun came through the rain and so I went outside. I walked to the sea and watched it tossing around, silver gray and white and endless. And some words came to me out there, that I wanted to write down. I’ve felt pretty empty lately.
I had to be careful to not fall over in the wind, and I turned back, headed to a small coffee shop. I like watching people, without interacting, but just observing life and things happening around me. There are several people with computers, some reading the newspaper, most just talking over a beer, over soup and sandwiches. I order lemongrass peppermint tea and a slice of chocolate cake with cream.
I’m enjoying my last few days here in Iceland. I know I will blink and it will be gone.
Sometimes, or often I wake up full of fear. And I resist the daylight outside my window. I want to curl up and hide. But then it gets easier, as I take the first few steps into the morning, drink my tea, say hello to the white sky above the treetops.
I write for a bit, slowly, painfully, and then with joy. Usually. My writing helps me tremendously, to think, to feel, to connect with something outside myself, and deep within. To unseen things around me. And I’m not sure where this pain comes from, when there is nothing wrong, really. I just always seem to be wading through it in some way or another.
And I’m very happy too. I guess I’m a mix of things.
The other night I couldn’t sleep, and there was a bright, star with a red heart, outside my window, above the housetops. I watched it for a while. I think stars can speak to us, that they have a voice, a memory we share with them.
Once I felt inside of me, almost like a voice asking “Why do you run? Why won’t you stop and let me love you.” And I felt I was always running. So afraid to stop and let myself feel. So sure there wouldn’t be anything there anyway, least of all love.
I went for a walk yesterday and tried to feel the Goddess walking with me. I came to a snow lit field with white mists coming down from the mountains as the sun was setting. I felt it whisper sleep, rest, and I turned around, walked back. There is a lovely river next to where I live, looking almost black against the snow. I stood on a bridge for a moment, gazing down into it, the last of the sunlight glittering against its surface.
February is almost here. More light. Spring drawing closer. Are you enjoying winter? Summer?
“Sometimes I go about in pity for myself, and all the while, a great wind carries me across the sky.” -Ojibwe saying
At times she felt only half part of this world. Like she could walk right out of it if she wasn’t flesh and blood. That she was walking the middle path of two worlds intersecting.
I don’t go for a lot of walks in the sunlight these days. Instead, I wander outside at dusk, when it’s almost dark, and the first few stars are already out. I wander along those snow filled fields and trace out the beaten path as best as I can. I want silence and the whispers of the distant mountains. I try to listen and hear the voice of this new place, this new country I’ve moved to. Sometimes I want the sky to grow wild and raging so I can hear it better. It’s more difficult to hear things when a place has already been touched by many voices, many feet, when the cars are always driving by, filling the evening with noise and smoke. But I think I need to connect with this place, make it a friend. Not long for those misty forests of my previous home.
I knelt in the snow yesterday when I was sure no one was watching, or could even see me in the darkness. I sat and lifted my hands to the gray sky. I’m not sure why this helps, but it does. I long to actually touch things, connect with the world around me. Somehow it calms me. The trees growing along that path are too far away, or they stand behind fences and wire, but the ground is always there, so I knelt down on that instead. I breathed and prayed without words. Kneeling like that I felt closer to something I can’t name. But it’s there. I felt it even as a child, sitting outside in the evening, watching the sun set behind the mountains. I’m always reaching for it, been holding out my hands to it as long as I can remember. Do you feel something like that too?
I recently finished reading the books about Emily of New Moon. The descriptions of nature always touch me, makes me dream of beauty, and of a simpler time of more quiet, more trees. Less smog. I’ve shared a moment from the books below. Isn’t it lovely?
Then came the northern lights–drifts of pale fire over the sky–spears of light, as of empyrean armies–pale, elusive hosts retreating and advancing. Emily lay and watched them in rapture. Her soul was washed pure in that great bath of splendour. She was a high priestess of loveliness assisting at the divine rites of her worship–and she knew her goddess smiled.
She was glad Ilse was asleep. Any human companionship, even the dearest and most perfect, would have been alien to her then. She was sufficient unto herself, needing not love nor comradeship nor any human emotion to round out her felicity. Such moments come rarely in any life, but when they do come they are inexpressibly wonderful–as if the finite were for a second infinity–as if humanity were for a space uplifted into divinity–as if all ugliness had vanished, leaving only flawless beauty. Oh–beauty–Emily shivered with the pure ecstasy of it. She loved it–it filled her being to-night as never before. She was afraid to move or breathe lest she break the current of beauty that was flowing through her. Life seemed like a wonderful instrument on which to play supernal harmonies.
“Oh, God, make me worthy of it–oh, make me worthy of it,” she prayed. Could she ever be worthy of such a message–could she dare try to carry some of the loveliness of that “dialogue divine” back to the everyday world of sordid market-place and clamorous street? She must give it–she could not keep it to herself. Would the world listen–understand–feel? Only if she were faithful to the trust and gave out that which was committed to her, careless of blame or praise. High priestess of beauty–yes, she would serve at no other shrine!
Lucy Maud Montgomery – Emily Climbs
There is a lovely light coming through the window now. Winter light. The sky is white and grayish blue behind the trees. And the church bells are ringing. They ring a lot here, and I like listening to them. I enjoy waking up to them at 7 in the morning. Wishing you a beautiful rest of the week.
I just went for a walk in the witch light (is that something? Just felt like the right description) Past gray misty mountains and trees. I saw a fox trotting towards me in the snow, in the almost dark, next to a small stream. I watched him for a bit. He kept coming closer, and I moved a little so he would notice me. He ran away after that. I felt a bit disappointed in myself. Why do I always feel afraid?
The other day, in the bright sunlight, a mouse scurried across my path. He didn’t see me either and I stood and watched him gnaw through small twigs and even some ice. Perhaps he was thirsty. I like little moments like that.
This evening I even heard an owl calling from one of the trees. It made me happy. It’s one of my favorite, most haunting sounds, an owl calling in the night.
I realize as I sit here now, what a darling little place I’ve moved to. It’s a small town, surrounded by mountains, with a river running through it just at my doorstep. I didn’t want to move somewhere big. I didn’t want to go back to the big city, but at the same time, I longed to go to a cozy cafe more often. To have that quiet time of drinking tea and studying people coming and going. And so here I am, in this small place with a cozy cafe that I can go to only minutes away. I feel very blessed right now.
And outside the snow has fallen. Everything is white, fairy dusted and covered with angel wings. We drove up the mountain on Sunday and I almost held my breath with the quiet beauty of it. The clear blue sky behind snowy trees. I’m so glad winter finally came, fully, deeply.
I made a small altar out of a shelf and put a statue of Mary there, holding the baby Jesus. There are fairy lights around her, and a violet scarf like clouds at her feet. I like that she’s the first thing I see when I look up from my computer.
On that note, I wanted to share an article that I wrote, about how I first connected with the Goddess. Lately, I’ve felt a longing to share more about my experiences and spiritual journey. I’ve been holding it all close to my chest for a long time, afraid of what people might think. I think my spirituality is the path of the heart. I want to follow love and my inner guidance. The Goddess is love to me.
There are golden flowers, and golden leaves outside my window, shining in a world of green. When I woke up this morning, the sun was coming over the mountain, through a mist-filled forest. All the sounds around me were that of water, tinkling like fairy bells. I’m dreaming of a new place now, a new home. I feel a little anxious too, about our move to Slovenia, and trying to get everything packed and cleaned in time.
I listen to calming music. I broke my own rule of not listening to Christmas carols before December, but I love this song. There is something were soothing and beautiful about Mary singing to her child.
I feel as though I’ve stepped out of time, into a white and silent space. Perhaps it’s because of summer, all the long days that has pushed away the night, leaving only a shadow of darkness. Perhaps it’s because so many people are on vacation, and everything is a little more quiet than usual.
I wander the forest, looking around me at all the things I will be leaving very soon. That will soon be a mere memory. I was surprised to find mushrooms and blueberries and felt it was a gift from the earth, from the Goddess.
I feel I’m wrapping up my life here, in more ways than just packing things into boxes (we’re moving to Slovenia). I’m reflecting on all the things that have happened in this small, hidden away place. How its silence has healed something in me. After years in the city, it was amazing to hear birds and the wind, and the gentle lapping of waves, the rustle of leaves. Nature sounds and nothing else. Of course, there are cars driving by, but more often than not there are just long gaps of silence. I wanted this. I needed a place to be quiet and to listen, to hear what was whispering deep down inside of me.
This is where I first started writing. Really writing. Really looking at the grief that had been a part of me for so long.
It feels like a gift, everything that has happened. A beautiful, magical gift. I want to whisper “thank you” as I make tea, as I greet or say goodbye to the day, as I stare up at the green, pine forest outside my window.
I’m sitting at the computer now, next a vase of fading pink roses, and watching the evening light play over my hands as I type. The sun is just about to set over the mountains behind me, and the birch trees sway gently in the wind.
What gifts have you been given lately?
I’m wishing you a beautiful weekend. Blessings.
Also sharing the song of an owl, that I’ve been listening to so often as I fall asleep. Isn’t lovely? Somehow I feel it’s a song that opens doors, night doors to other dimensions.
Sometimes I look at someone and think “please create something. I know it will be beautiful because you’re beautiful.”
I walked by the ocean yesterday, along the beach, right at the edge of the world. In the distance, there was nothing but sky and the vast, glittering ocean, the sound of waves. The clouds kept changing, drifting, letting through the sun before swallowing it up again. I could see the rain coming towards me from far away.
And I walked among the wild roses, that held raindrops in their petals. I thought about the Goddess and felt a flicker of peace inside of me. Everywhere I stepped the grass was dotted with wildflowers.
I’m drinking in summer, holding as much of it inside of me as I can. Light and color and soft, friendly winds.
Wishing everyone a beautiful start on their week, and new beginnings for this new moon.
Sometimes I just long for beautiful places. For beauty in and of itself. At times I glimpse it, – when I open and my eyes and look around me. When I sit in silence and listen to the trees.
Yesterday I stood outside my apartment, with my cup of rose tea and gazed into the lake, seeing two white water lilies floating on its surface. I drank them in, along with my tea, and the dazzling light spreading across the lake and forest as the sun inched closer to the mountains.
Sometimes life feels a little painful. It’s hard to be myself and nothing more. It’s hard to not run away from what I am and to walk with the Goddess, as I’ve asked her to help me do.
I guess I want to be in life and not hide from it any longer. The more I’m in it the more things I also notice, and appreciate. I hope that makes sense.
And I think that when I gather beauty during the day, I also bring it into my dreams. Today, in the early morning I found myself next to snow-touched mountains and a grey ocean. It felt wild, ice cold, though there was no real sense of temperature. It was a dream, and I felt free.