Stillness

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There is a stillness that underpins all the little daily miracles,
and underpins all art.

It underpins all love,
all beauty,
all relaxation.

All hope,
and kindness.

All understanding,
inspiration,
and peace.

It is hidden on the moon and deep within your heart.

And it can be hard to find,
But it is always there,
Right below the surface.

Waiting to be drawn out,
By the ear within the ear,
The eye beneath the eye.

Breathe,
and you can tap in.

Breathe,
feel the stillness,
draw it out.

I live here.

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Pebbled beach.
Warmth.
The mountains across the lake are softened by haze.

The pebbles dig into my back and bum as I lie down,
I sit up.
A cool breeze sweeps over my skin,
the waves of a boat wake lap against the shore.
I smell diesel.

It feels like I’m at the cottage but it’s the end of my work day and I live here.

It’s been incredibly hot the past few weeks – I feel I’ve moved to the desert.  The grass is dying.  The apple trees cry for water.  Desert doesn’t work for me.  After 2 days in Nevada and Utah my whole body softened as we drove into the mountains of Colorado – trees, humidity, I can breath again.

And as the coolness of the evening sweeps in I can feel my body softening once more and memories flood in.  Diving off the dock at Rangers, hiking Cape Spear alone, running up the freshly cut road in Bhutan, searching for banana slugs with my cousins in the redwoods.  Pieces of my life.  Pieces of what brought me here.

The small birds flit in and out of the young poplar trees beside the water and I thought that I had to use post-it notes and logic to remember my life.  Chronological order.  Seriousness.

But no.
I simply sit on the beach and the memories flood in.
Washing over me until I become whole.

Journal Writing

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I race to finish Natalie Goldberg’s Long Quiet Highway – it is so beautiful to read and there are many books on my nightstand to be read.  I devour the memoire and then as I finish suddenly I look around and feel like I’ve lost a friend.

I try to read her first book Writing Down the Bones then decide to simply read Long Quiet Highway again.  I get about a sentence in and realize I can’t read – I need to write.

I head to the beach – backpack packed: books, journal, computer.   An hour and a half until dinner – an hour and a half to write.  I sit down at the patio furniture on the grassy part above the beach.  A part of me wishes I could go to a café in the city to write.  I catch the thought and return to my breath.  Cities… to go to a dance class, to have an easy morning drinking coffee and reading on the sofa. Caught it – breath, waves, wind chimes, back to the present, back to the blank page…

When I was in university I loved to dance and the only place I knew to do it was at the bar.  That’s where everyone seemed to be heading anyways so I’d put on an outfit that I could move in and go dance.  If the music was good and there was space on the floor I’d make sure not to drink too much because I knew it would mess up my moves and as everyone else loved life wasted, I was high on the dance.

Then in Thunder Bay – bands touring across Canada would have to stop there because it’s the only city between Sault Ste Marie and Winnipeg so on Tuesdays or Wednesdays there’d be great shows in town.  The live music was great and the crowd was the same – students, artists – drunk, picking up, rocking out and I’d be the one with the big moves at the side of the stage because that’s where the space was.  Elbows out, knees high. Dance.

And I’ve been thinking about my transition this fall from this small community in the mountains to the city and I’ve been wondering why.  Why am I moving to a new city at the darkest time of the year?  How can this possibly be a good idea? And finally realized it’s to dance.

Since those years of dancing at the bar I’ve found “my people” in the world of dance.   The others who were most likely at some point the crazy dancer in the corner – who love to move and who want to move alcohol free.  Who like to dance on Sunday mornings or Wednesday evenings and to do the big moves.

Breath, waves, sunshine, mountains.  I return to where I am now.  Where someone has prepared a beautiful meal and all I have to do is show up.  There are beautiful things here and there will be beautiful things in the city.  Wherever I am – all I have to do is show up.