Hiding – a Blackout Poem

solace

We are ourselves,
in necessary time
–the virtuoso quiet
of an internal pulse,

underestimated–
until we grow ready,
for the names
that have caught us.

We have been too easily
seen and too easily named.
We live in a time of
imaginings and longings–

too much, too often
— squeezed into
our sense of self,
our sense of others.

What is real is almost
always precious,
does not care to be known
with no place to hide.

A creeping necessity,
creative and subversive,
leaves life to itself
–to become solace.

—–

SOURCE TEXT:

HIDING is a way of staying alive. Hiding is a way of holding ourselves until we are ready to come into the light. Even hiding the truth from ourselves can be a way to come to what we need in our own necessary time. Hiding is one of the brilliant and virtuoso practices of almost every part of the natural world: the protective quiet of an icy northern landscape, the held bud of a future summer rose, the snow bound internal pulse of the hibernating bear. Hiding is underestimated. We are hidden by life in our mother’s womb until we grow and ready ourselves for our first appearance in the lighted world; to appear too early in that world is to find ourselves with the immediate necessity for outside intensive care. Hiding done properly is the internal faithful promise for a proper future emergence, as embryos, as children or even as emerging adults in retreat from the names that have caught us and imprisoned us, often in ways where we have been too easily seen and too easily named. We live in a time of the dissected soul, the immediate disclosure; our thoughts, imaginings and longings exposed to the light too much, too early and too often, our best qualities squeezed too soon into a world already awash with too easily articulated ideas that oppress our sense of self and our sense of others. What is real is almost always to begin with, hidden, and does not want to be understood by the part of our mind that mistakenly thinks it knows what is happening. What is precious inside us does not care to be known by the mind in ways that diminish its presence. Hiding is an act of freedom from the misunderstanding of others, especially in the enclosing world of oppressive secret government and private entities, attempting to name us, to anticipate us, to leave us with no place to hide and grow in ways unmanaged by a creeping necessity for absolute naming, absolute tracking and absolute control. Hiding is a bid for independence, from others, from mistaken ideas we have about our selves, from an oppressive and mistaken wish to keep us completely safe, completely ministered to, and therefore completely managed. Hiding is creative, necessary and beautifully subversive of outside interference and control. Hiding leaves life to itself, to become more of itself. Hiding is the radical independence necessary for our emergence into the light of a proper human future.

… Excerpted from ‘HIDING’ From CONSOLATIONS: The Solace, Nourishment and Underlying Meaning of Everyday Words. 2015 © David Whyte – Now Available – http://davidwhyte.stores.yahoo.net/newbook.html

AUDIO FILE:

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Beauty in Surrender

image

There’s a gentle surrender
in the way the wind combs
through the trees and
white bits of airborne fiber
float gracefully to the grass.

Perhaps today’s lesson
is to let the wind shake
through me and carry me
gently to the next place
–for the sake of beauty.

—–

AUDIOFILE:

Here

headonshoulder

 

There is a peace
here in your eyes
with your hand
in mine and your
smile reaching
out for me.
There is a belonging
with my head
on your shoulder,
your voice in my ear.
There is a place for me
and I am home,
when you are near.

—–

AUDIO FILE:

The Power of Ritual

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This morning, I set up my tray, teacup, saucer, spoon… I turned on the kettle, and selected a teabag from the tin. I stood pondering, smiling, waking, feeling gratitude, as the water began to boil. I poured, and the tea leaves steeped, while I breathed, turning memories over in my thankful hands. I stirred a teaspoon of honey into the amber liquid, and cradled the warm cup in my fingers, lifting it to let the steam bathe my face.

I love this routine; it is quiet, introspective, filled with peace.

I have a plain, somewhat tattered, composition journal, where I do my morning pages. A minimum of three, hand-scribbled, they are filled with what Natalie Goldberg called “monkey mind” — the random, disjointed musings of an early morning brain — that I spill across the paper in smudges and lines of ink, so I can clear away the debris, and write or create from the clear, pure place beneath.  I open the notebook, smooth the page, select a pen, and light a candle, simply because it seems right to do so, makes this a sacred space, a spiritual action that feeds my soul.  I follow my pen, and trust the process.

My soul craves ritual, it’s the breathing in and out, of life, of listening, of stilling the world and meeting myself in the space it creates.

I crave ritual in relationships, too, particularly in power dynamics. I mentioned before that I am not a vanilla girl. A relationship, or relationships, that involve power exchange are an important part of my make-up, and what adds pleasure to my life. In a relationship with a strong, confident, gentle, dominant male, I seek ritual, to quiet my restlessness, to turn my thoughts inward, and to find peace in the connection of that shared bond.

There is a man in my world who offers me part of what I seek in a relationship of this type. We do not meet in person, our interactions are limited to email, text messages, phone calls and online journal entries. He’s older, with decades of experience, and  sense of integrity that appeals to me. He knows my journey has been difficult, and he speaks truth to me. He encourages and celebrates my ethical sluthood, respects my limits, and feeds my heart. He has given me ritual that works.

At the same time every day, my phone sounds an alarm, and I smile. My eyes close, and I can hear his reassuring voice. I remind myself that we are connected, and that the energy we share is a gift. When my day is hectic, and filled with distraction, I close my eyes, breathe, and kneel (sometimes mentally, emotionally, sometimes physically). I often send him a quick text like the following:

*kneels at your feet, and closes my eyes, breathing deeply*

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Sometimes he responds to welcome me, sometimes he is busy with his work day, and does not. But the connection is still there, and I find a few moments of peace and strength, to continue with my day.  This sort of practical ritual can make a big difference in my mind and heart. It’s a centering much like meditation, it’s a reminder, much like a spoken affirmation. These things appeal to me, and provide me with a mirror.

That girl, in the reflection, with the happy smile… she is me finding peace… and I like what I see.