Friday, May 16, 2014

our peaceful presence, our appointment with life

Without doing anything, things can sometimes go more smoothly just because of our peaceful presence. In a small boat when a storm comes, if one person remains solid and calm, others will not panic and the boat is more likely to stay afloat.
- Thich Nhat Hanh

The present moment is where life can be found, and if you don't arrive there you miss your appointment with life. You don't have to run anymore. Breathing in, we say, "I have arrived." Breathing out, we say, "I am home." This is a very strong practice, a very deep practice.

- Thich Nhat Hanh

When from our better selves we have too long
Been parted by the hurrying world, and droop,
Sick of its business, of its pleasures tired,
How gracious, how benign, is Solitude.

- William Wordsworth, from The Prelude

As it happens, I do have an appointment with life, with my self, with my solitude. I've booked off a LWOP (leave without pay) for the first week of June. I tell you, the thought of it has kept me going for the last couple of months, and now it's only a couple of weeks away.

I plan on writing, of course, and sitting in my backyard - which will hopefully have flowers in it by then. (Spring comes slowly where I live....) I also plan on reassessing how I use the internet (too, much, in truth). It seems to me, people used to talk about this more often, but maybe it's one of those things you just need to quietly work out for yourself. It has it's wonderful parts, the internet, but it can also be very overpowering, addictive, and at times draining. I sometimes think of Facebook and Twitter as a job......and I need to get out of that mindset. We writers are told that we need to promote our books, etc. And we do. (I can't tell you how important it is that people buy the books we write - and I thank those of you who have recently bought Asking from the bottom of my heart....). But I want to attempt to bring everything back into some kind of balance again, that way.

So on my week where I have an appointment with myself, I want to sit and re-read books I love, poems I love. Write in my diary. Think about what I might write next. I've been writing more poem essays, but I think I want to begin a novel, or at least begin planning out a novel.

I've been sending out queries to publishers this past week regarding: Transactions with Beauty, which is the book I've written based on this blog. They're short essays elaborated from my morning gatherings, here. Wish me luck on that will you?

I work today, but then have the entire long weekend off to spend with my family, and to hopefully cross things off my to-do list so that when I get my week, it will be relatively clear.

Wishing you a beautiful long weekend.....some calm, some peace. And perhaps you will keep an appointment with yourself....


  1. Good luck, Shawna! I loved reading that section of Thich Nhat Hahn's book, the idea that sometimes peaceful and calm non-action is the best "action" thus becoming the steadying force, it was a bit of an aha moment for me. It's nice to know it resonated with you as well. You've also inspired me to re-read Wordsworth and see what new insightful treasures I can glean from a fresh reading from where I sit now. Have a lovely, calm and peaceful weekend with you and your family

  2. Thank you for this blog and all the effort and time it takes...I hope you will get the book of your writings from it published, for often I wish to hold your thoughts in my hands....your consistent wisdom of words and compostion of photos that remind us of the beauty that is free and all around us...I am amazed at the fullness of your life. Thank you again for calling things to our attention, bringing peace into our lives, and sharing so much with us.

  3. Wishing you a blessed time of otium sanctum (holy leisure).

  4. quotes from my favorite little monk. always like a breath. just reading his thoughts.
    i wish you so much joy dear heart... on your own long awaited breathing time in june!
    i have found too that this internet is addictive. i am learning that i need to move more.
    move. get up. go outside. breathe! i can get so lost in it. not so good.
    and i will buy your novel. right now! that's how much i love your writing. LOL.
    i will now need to get your other book... 'asking.'
    happy weekend dear heart... to you four.
    any post with beloved ace in it is a best post! ♥

  5. What beautiful readers I have....thank you all for being here.


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