I sit in the garden seeking quiet but quickly become imbued with the noise of internal discontent. Restless, I notice a bare tree, its skeletal frame spreads out neatly upon the ground, as if an invisible paper fold creases from the base of its trunk. Its fractal branches have been exposed by Season’s disrobing, but still, each bony limb is spun with a dozen tiny vinyl disks, suspended mid-air, playing records of quietude. Sun zips from one branch to the other across silent silk threads, like tiny tightrope walkers whispering across thin beams of light. And this tree becomes a symbol of calm resolve against anxiety’s constant need for a brawl. Bare Tree becomes a refuge of seeming lifelessness lit up by a dozen small beings’ desire to live in their own gentle way. And I too, exposed to the light, feel the willingness to remember the soft yarn of peace that suspends itself between my attention and my forgetfulness. Because I am too, full of hymns. I am too, the nexus between the brash desire to live and the tender longing to rest amongst the hush of life.
I sometimes imagine crawling into the womb. Not an earthly one, more like a primordial den of nothingness. I curl up my body, fold it neatly so that head meets knees, toes tuck in; tight, safe, warm, nothing.
I wrap this ensouled darkness over me and disappear into the comfort of a deep abyss. I imagine folding back into a love without edges, a life without roughness, protected by the untouchable quality of quiet.
All melts away as an invisible hand rocks me in my cosmos crib and a gentle voice sings the songlines of home.
This fantasy used to bother me somewhat, especially when I began to find surrogate voids in broom closets and garden sheds. But I no longer fear it as some act of self-annihilation. It’s more like a returning to some greater sense of belonging; to the lifeblood of being human.
Wombs are, after all, the ultimate makers of life. They are alchemists of potentiality. They are wild and mysterious places that put magic back into beans.
I know my disappearance into Quiet is good for me. When I return, I feel a renewed desire to be in conversation with the Whole of life (and not just the preferred parts). Time spent investigating the simple, unconditioned Being that I am helps me to see again. The eyes adjust quickly to the kind of darkness that provides solace; the kind that reveals the naturalness of a body being held by peace.
Without period trips behind the fur coats and through hidden doors, I know I cannot be who I am. I become a faulty switch, always on no matter which way you flick it.
When we are always in doing mode, internal wires become disconnected from their external expression and we normalize the brokenness of these phantom switches - until they suddenly turn on a disease, a crisis, a loss…
There’s something about dwelling in a simple state of awareness that puts the skin back on. Like diving into Water, we stretch our fingertips to meet its surface, liquid begins to sleeve us all the way up to our elbows, and then head meets head, shoulders melt into one another as we dip, pleat, and fold into ourselves - finally, toes sink into each other and we become the invisible line where inner and outer meet.
Something akin to soul, calls us to pay attention to the small, the silent, the insignificant, the already here. It’s only in these moments of quietude that we remember our losses are only momentary forgettings and that we have all we need to be still in an ever-tilting world.
Silence, darkness, peace, and fearlessness is a Mother within all of us who is always calling her wandering child home to the hearth.
We know not that we seek to be swaddled by the ebony hands of our own souls.
We must simply turn towards our inner carer and remember her, surrender to her, so She can reveal her healing qualities to us.
Because the Self has but one desire; to be held by what is still, connected, and in presence. Not to be ignored until ‘better timing’ or we have our external lives in order.
What might we see in ourselves with eyes mothered by care and quiet? How might joy be rebirthed into our lives through our sincere willingness to simply be what we are?
all good things are cradled in darkness at first; seeds and babies, dreams and love, compost and starlight.
With much love and gratitude for your presence today,
Tip 3 Observation without expectation
This week, I thought I’d share one of the most important qualities of writing your own poetry; observation. Creative people are truly masters of observation. They see things differently, or more simply, or in details others tend to miss. The same observation you use to get to know your environment can be used to get to know yourself, making art life and life art. You don’t have to become creative - you already are. Sometimes you just need to remember how to observe, with patience and self-compassion in order to tap into the poetry that you are.
Here are some tips to help you use the art of observation to bring into your self-expression: