“In a large, gently sloping basin the woodland has been cleared away, leaving the closely shaven land with a soft, smooth, supple green face. It has been parceled up into misshapen rectangles of lush grass carpets separated by long, thin stubby hedges. At the lip of the basin lies its woodland beard, bare branches intertwine to form a dens…e protective barrier for the land’s protruding chin. In the distance bonfire smoke work’s its way into the damp, heavy air and the sunlight reveals the beige, barren bareness of the smooth moorland which lines the horizon. Mid-way the rain and the sunlight mix together to form a translucent curtain of fine haze. Giant ash grey clouds float steadily through the sky, outlined by bright wispy illumination, and sheep shelter at the edge of the woodland, huddled together, away from the unforgiving exposure of the open fields. Impossibly narrow lanes dive down steep hills, lined by tall scraggy hedgerows where nobody goes apart from occasional cars and tractors. The distant moors feel wiser than than the soft, supple fields that lie in their shadow. The moors have been weathered and beaten by the elements, shaken to their bare bones. This ferocity is warn by the haggered expressions of the twisted trees and bushes. Allowing my eyes to feel their way across this landscape I have a sense that depth perception is a capacity of the soul rather than of sight. My eyes provide the open doorway but it is my soul that stretches itself outward to meet this world, and revels in the opportunity to join with it in it’s wondrously creative expressions of earthly physical form.”
Jan 5th – You and eye
I do believe that we have this all inside out. That you are within, and I am without. For when I gaze into those tiny black holes, what stares back at me, through me, is no less than your soul. Yet when I look out, to the world all around, your insides, your entrails are what fills the ground. The trees are your lungs, the mountains your bones, the rivers your blood, and the winds are your groans. The void we call space is your vast imagination, the circling galaxies are your cosmic circulation. And black holes in space, what are they if not the same, as the ones I look out of to witness this game?
Happy 2014!!! Well a new day, and a new year, has dawned, spreading itself out in front of us like a beautiful blank page, calling us to write, sing or dance our life into action.
To start the year off as I mean to go on I have joined a one-month mindful writing project using a ‘tool’ called ‘Small Stones’. The tool is used by the project ‘Writing Our Way Home’ as a way to engage with the world mindfully, through writing.
The following information is from their wonderful website:
small stones will help you connect to the world, in all its richness & complexity & juiciness. Join us for our Mindful Writing Challenge in January and write one every day for a month…
What is a small stone?
A small stone is a short piece of writing that precisely captures a fully-engaged moment.
towels and shirts and pillowcases show me the shapes of the breeze
Why write small stones?
When we translate something we’ve seen or experienced into words, it is necessary to pay more attention than we usually would. A few minutes of mindful attention (even once a day) helps us to engage with the world in all its beauty.
To find your own small stones:
1. Keep your eyes, nose, mouth, fingers, ears & your mind open.
2. Notice something.
3. Write it down.
What does a small stone look like?
As long as it’s shortish, anything goes. There are no strict rules as there are for forms such as haiku. small stones are often concrete, specific, and written about ordinary things – birdsong, or a dark grey cloud.
Do I have to be a writer to write small stones?
No. The process of finding small stones is more important than the finished product. Searching for them will encourage you to keep your eyes (and ears, nose, mouth, fingers, feelings and mind) open.Your short written piece (and learning to enjoy writing & the deliciousness of words) is simply a happy by-product of this process.
Where will I find small stones?
small stones are everywhere, all of the time. All you have to do is pause and let them appear. You’ll know when you see one, because it will set off a small burst of feeling inside you. It might be that you really notice the ugliness of a piece of chewed gum on the pavement, or the beauty of a pigeon, or vice versa. An overheard snippet of conversation might strike you as amusing, or strange. Whatever you notice, you will be noticing it with fresh eyes.
How do I pick up my small stones?
The best way is to catch them as they occur, by carrying a note-book around with you and jotting down what you’ve noticed or experienced straight away.”….
And so, on the 1st January 2014 – here is my first Small Stone:
I am bathing in the glorious, hushed caress of silence. It is dense, warm and comforting and spreads itself throughout my entire being like thick, soupy chocolate sauce. It lavishes me with relief and soothes my soul, stroking my life blood with its balmy spread of deeply attentive, invisible fingertips. It is pregnant, all but empty, and full of possibility. I am embraced by a silent whisper, a gentle, loving force, that is just as alive and as potent as sound itself. There would be no sound without silence. In fact, silence has a sound but not one that can be heard with my ears, only with my heart. My heart hears its potency, understands its call for renewal, for rest. It is the soft sandy shore upon which I can lay my bare feet before returning again to swim in the waves of life’s rhythmic heartbeat.