Saturday, May 18, 2013

one day a light

“One of the deepest and strangest of all human moods is the mood which will suddenly strike us perhaps in a garden at night, or deep in sloping meadows, the feeling that every flower and leaf has just uttered something stupendously direct and important, and that we have by a prodigy of imbecility not heard or understood it. There is a certain poetic value, and that a genuine one, in this sense of having missed the full meaning of things. There is beauty, not only in wisdom, but in this dazed and dramatic ignorance.” 

~ G. K. Chesterton

“Even if our efforts of attention seem for years to be producing no result, one day a light that is in exact proportion to them will flood the soul.” 

~Simone Weil

"Sit near someone who has had the experience.
Sit under a tree with new blossoms.

Walking the section of the market
where chemists sell essences,
you will receive conflicting advice.

Go toward kindness.
If you are not sure where that is,
you will be drawn in by fakes."

~ Rumi

I have been making pacts with myself again. Go toward kindness, stay away from the fakes. And most importantly, to increase my efforts of attention. I have identified in myself a genuine and insistent need to be quiet and attentive, more so than usual. To work. To be away from the noise of the world. To cultivate that inner quiet that is so necessary to the making of art. If I'm to develop a faith that my efforts will some day produce a light....then I need to go inward more deeply.

And also, I keep coming back to these lines by Rumi:

"It's a person's duty to get oneself in a position
where one can be generous with their time and silver.

Whenever you gather with friends or are in a crowd,
try to the be one least in need. For simply doing that 
is giving."

I think part of the reason I've felt so tired and disappointed and harbouring what I've been calling my 'literary depression' is because of the feeing of being in need. I'd rather be the person in the room who is least in need.

And anyway, my obligation right now is to listen to the utterances of flowers and blossoms. To walk along that path.


  1. Lovely post, Shawna. And "literary depression" -- a perfect diagnosis of that familiar condition...!

    1. Thanks, Theresa. It's a strange state isn't it? Quite compartmentalized. Persistent. Difficult to admit to :)

  2. I feel so grateful that you are out there every day, observing for us, listening for us, and producing this loveliness. Honestly, I feel like you are taking me for a walk everyday. Thank you.


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