Tuesday, June 5, 2012

a pilgrimage

"A day of silence
can be a pilgrimage in itself.

A day of silence
can help you listen
to the soul play
its marvellous lute and drum."

~ Hafiz

"The minute I'm disappointed, I feel encouraged.
When I'm ruined, I'm healed.
When I'm quiet and solid as the ground, then I talk
the low tones of thunder for everyone."

~ Rumi (transl. Coleman Barks)

It's incredible how much silence, how much mental space, is often necessary for writing to occur, for a poem to come into being.  Which I think is why it's so terribly disappointing when 
you've arranged for a day to write, and then nothing much happens.  Or so it seems.  All day long yesterday I spent waiting, working, scribbling, reading.  And the quiet was wonderful, it really was.  Today, a little less quiet, actually, since Rob is back after being away for four days - so unusual for us.  He's back in his basement studio, working away, and maybe that's more conducive for my writing.  More 'normal.'  

While I was waiting for him to arrive yesterday, late in the afternoon, I poured myself a very cold glass of wine and sat at the table and wrote in my journal.  These were probably the best lines of the day, and sparked the ideas I'm working with today.   Which I'll have to leave pretty quickly, so I can get ready for the day job (in this case the evening job).  


  1. i love reading your sharings of moments from every day life....such things like silence....and a glass of wine...

    AND i love these words by Rumi! for a long time now i have thought of getting to know his writing better, to buy myself some of his books. do you have any suggestions for me? hard to choose....


  2. My recipe for writing: Mornings are an inspiration, silence (not all the time) and what I find the most important ingredient - mental space. With my nose pressed against a window of stress or worry I cannot write, not even my angst. Your post got me thinking and with my own blog at my finger tips thought I would write a post. Thank you for the inspiration and hope you don't mind I linked to Calm Things.


  3. thank you V : ) my copy of the essential rumi translated by coleman barks is dogeared every couple of pages! i like that version.

    Pat - thanks SO much for the link. you're lovely.

    1. oh thank you for telling me,
      going to get my hands on a copy!: )

  4. Shawna,
    Starting my day with your powerful images and profound words is like a meditative tonic. And the silence quote is timely: I'm headed to a silent retreat tomorrow. I'll share the poem and your site when we break the silence.
    Take care, Brenda

  5. thanks for stopping by Brenda : ) and enjoy your silence retreat. i'd love to hear about it. xo


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