Wednesday, February 10, 2010


Well . . . hello again.

I have been in a bit of a slump. A combination of February, when my daffodils are starting to peek up out of the dirt but springtime still feels impossibly far away, and some introspection and reflection that have left me feeling more exposed and vulnerable deep inside anyhow, and then some other events that seemed to have wounded a tender tender spot for me - and I have found myself struggling.

But I have felt that I need to make a more conscious effort to seek out my own solace. To look for the little things that bring me comfort and happiness and peace. Even if that is only in feeling understood. Or seeing something beautiful. Or simply accepting my own personal struggles. I am searching for these things right now. And I hope to share some of them with you as I find them.

I found one such thing this morning - not surprisingly, in another blog (one of my favorite things in life right now). This was a new find for me, discovered by a link on a different blog I read regularly - I love that! :)

It is called The Hermitage. This appealed to me at first glance because I have been severely tempted lately by the idea of becoming a hermit. I just want to be alone. For awhile. I want a warm and comfortable cave where I am safe and secure and protected. I don't trust myself to speak because my emotions are too close to the surface, too volatile, too raw. I want to be far far away, at least physically (although I might be able to handle virtual closeness, hehe).

She then begins this post with these words:

"THERE IS A KNOT in my heart made of old string, melting snow and hesitant birdsong.
I cannot tell you its tale, for it is far too sad. But I will tell you some things I have been thinking these last days of quiet... "

Something about that, the knot of old string, melting snow, and hesitant birdsong, felt so familiar and comforting to me. Comforting because I feel I am not alone. Beautiful in it's sadness, because I feel it too. I don't know if that even makes sense to anyone else but me. But you know, this is my blog, so I'll blog what I want to. :)

She then goes on with this line later in the post:

"I have agonised over how to write, how to be true and yet hidden."

That is truly an agony I have felt keenly. I try to write about the things of my heart here on my blog. It is painful for me to feel that I cannot share everything I would like. But circumstances close to home have caused me to have to restrain from discussing some things. It is just what has to be. But it is torture. I feel it is almost a dishonesty to have to ignore the things that are utmost in my mind and thoughts. I feel that being true to myself is the highest and most important task in my life. It is not often easy. But it has to also be tempered with some consideration and compassion for others. Some respect for my own privacy and necessary "hiding." Some obvious restraint and common sense. The balance between saying enough that there is some release of the internal pressure, without saying too much. Sometimes it is just easier said than done. For me, I guess.

And then finally she ends with this poem:

by Mary Oliver

You do not have to be good.

You do not have to walk on your knees

For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.

You only have to let the soft animal of your body

love what it loves.

Tell me about your despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.

Meanwhile the world goes on.

Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain

are moving across the landscapes,

over the prairies and the deep trees,

the mountains and the rivers.

Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,

are heading home again.

Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,

the world offers itself to your imagination,

calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting —

over and over announcing your place

in the family of things.


I can't even explain why, but that struck me, too. This sharing and belonging and being part of our world. Our place "in the family of things."
I have needed to feel that.

So. That is what I am finding a bittersweet happiness in today. Maybe not even happiness. But a peace. A calm.
That's all.

And be sure to click on the link to see the post for yourself, because the images and photos were also a huge part of what I found soothing (but I didn't feel like I should copy and paste them here). :)

I will be going back to visit The Hermitage often, because it seems to be a place where a part of me feels at home. At least right now.


Colleen said...

Lovely writing. I remember back when I could write. :) I'm glad you're finding some peace. Everyone has their own way.

Jennifer said...

It is lovely writing. Thanks for sharing.

Tricia F said...

thanks for sharing this Kristen!

Amber Baker said...

The ideas are very calming. Much of my own personal learning has come from the fact that I wear my heart on my sleeve. There have been so many times in my life I have wanted to comment, retort, or correct, but I have refrained. I have written a letter and destroyed it later, talked with my husband, or written in a journal. Saying nothing and avoiding the exposure of the most vulnerable part of myself has been extremely difficult lesson to learn. I can tell you though, I have never once regretted keeping those thoughts to myself, and have usually had a lot of peace in hindsight. This is saying nothing of anyone else's struggles, just an explanation of lessons I have learned for myself.

PS. Annabelle needs to take a picture of bulbs coming up for a project she is working on. Would it be OK if I sent her up to take a couple photos?

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