From the Diary #22 ~ Re-entry

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from Mother Mary Oracle Cards

What if I began posting here again, without sharing why I needed to spend time away, of what I did during that time? What if I  began posting without sharing a gallery of catch up pictures?

What if I just opened a new post and wrote about how the year and my cycle of creativity has turned so that I am once again facing this site, facing the friends who come here to witness what I share?

What if I didn’t spill my blood across the page in the guise of ink, and instead I kept the struggle wrestling just beneath the words, the sentences creating enough intrigue to make you, my friend, want to join me again?

What if my writing stopped sleeping between the covers of my journal and broke free from the quiet ruled lines, the endless loop of the writer’s mind to the writer’s hand, so that the circuit was shorted by another responding heart and mind?

What if I just sneaked back into my blog, without fanfare, and began once more to chart my writing life here, to chart this new autumn cycle of my creativity?

What if I just began posting here again, without apology, without explanation?

Okay.

Begin.

 

 

Life in Poetry #1 ~ IWM Duxford/ Muriel Rukeyser

 

Duxford 1

“The universe is made of stories/ not atoms.”
MR ~ The Speed of Darkness (IX)

Duxford 3

“I am working out the vocabulary of my silence.”
MR ~ The Speed of Darkness (XI)

Duxford 5

“Always our wars have been our confessions of weaknesses.”
MR ~ The Life of Poetry

Duxford 2

“We are against war and the sources of war.
We are for poetry and the sources of poetry.”
MR ~ The Life of Poetry

Duxford 4

Photo Journal #8 ~ The Third Space

 

“You are in that third space…a rugged, private beach where the waves crash, the wind beats and the salt coats your body. It is neither sea nor truly land. You are touching, and being touched by, another world. Your space is sacred and transformative, and you’re exactly where you need to be.” ~ on writing to a friend, grieving her adored dad.

 

To all those holding the space of transformation ~ be patient.  It’s not just life around you that has changed: you are changing too. Gift yourself the space and time to let it happen. As those waves of deep emotion rise, brace yourself and let them lap against you. Loss and sorrow have the most ferocious bite, but you are slowly being shaped into the person you will become. This is sacred space.

From the Diary #21 ~ Slow, rhythmic effort

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I’m guessing we’ve all carried shame at some time. My shame comes in how I am able (or not) to direct my time, and the amount of energy I have to spend in any one day. It lives in how I can’t move towards my own goals and be everything I need to be for other people, too. It never seems there’s never enough done, before I’m tired again.

In fact, it feels like the tap root of my shame is that I can never do enough, or even be enough. I do a lot of ‘busy work’ ~ email answering, lesson planning, spreadsheet completing, bouncing around between Facebook and Instagram, and when I’m working from home,  jumping up and down to attend to whatever part of the cycle the laundry is currently on ~ then I feel unfulfilled at the end of it all and no closer to where I want to be. It leaves me scattered and unfocused. But I get to look good. I answer everybody’s replies and complete their reports. I get a distinction in my assignment.

But maybe I’ve been misreading my emotions. Perhaps it’s no longer shame in thinking that I’m not enough, but instead a sadness rising that I have not allowed enough deep time with myself for thinking, writing, meditating or just (gasp!) being. And the worse thing to do to self medicate these emotions is reaching out with half an hour scrolling through social media. It’s not reaching out I need. It’s reaching in.

I have been working at bringing more of this deep, still work into my life. I’ve been cleaning up online habits, especially around my morning routine. I’ve been disconnecting the wifi connection on my phone and kindle in the bedroom, because I know myself. I have poor impulse control. All the social media before I’ve even started the day adds to my busy, busy, busy mania. Things are changing, slowly. There are compromises to be made. I miss being up to date with the connections I’ve worked to make on Instagram, but I like how calm and centred I feel. I like how I don’t feel guilty of ‘neglect’ because I am prioritising my own needs and starting to bring my own goals into focus.

At the weekend I spent sunset with the swans at Boldmere Gate. I watched with fascination as they preened and waxed their feathers, a long and laborious task but a necessary upkeep in their lives. Later, as they swam away I thought about the old adage that the swan’s graceful appearance belies the furious propelling of their webbed feet beneath the water, as if their grace was just an artful illusion. Peering below the surface, I saw that their feet did not look frantic. Sure, there was motion, but there was also focus and a slow rhythmic effort to move themselves to where they wanted to go.  And there’s no shame in that.

 

 

 

From the Diary #20 ~ On turning 40

 

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“But secluding my experience during that early period was both cowardly and wise. Some things are too fragile, too vulnerable to bring into the public eye. Tender things with tiny roots tend to wither in the glare of public scrutiny. By holding my awakening within, I contained the energy of it, and it fed me the way blood feeds muscle. It fed me a certain propelling energy, and I kept moving forward.”
― Sue Monk Kidd, The Dance of the Dissident Daughter

So things have been quiet around here, huh?

I think the main catch up is, I had a 40th birthday.

With several celebrations, a house full of decorations, cards and gifts, and three (count them!) birthday cakes, for those who know me it was hard to miss. I was filled with a deep love and gratitude for all the birthday wishes I received~ especially as turning forty on a school day in February didn’t fill me with much inspiration. But on the morning of my birthday, sunshine, surprising blue skies and all the love shared  made the day very special indeed.

Over the last year, I have been struggling with the thought of this new zero number. I didn’t go down the route of a bucket list, ‘forty things to do before I turn…’, or other outward trappings ~ instead I decided to focus on my inner life. Wrinkles showing? No matter. Not where I want to be in my career? Insignificant. Because the inner journey is everything.

It’s true that I’m currently protecting myself with the chrysalis of public silence. There are some delicate transformations which are, as Sue Monk Kidd describes, ‘tender things with tiny roots (which) tend to wither in the glare of public scrutiny’.

With three months left of my teaching certificate left and fledgling plans for how I plan to combine my writing and teaching life, I am containing the energy I need for this next phase.

In the meantime, don’t shy from the icy breath of March’s wind, or that downpour that sends you home shivering and searching for comfort. Tender cuttings are burrowing deep roots, and harsh conditions will develop hardiness. Spring is almost here.