“A poem begins as a lump in the throat, a sense of wrong, a homesickness, a lovesickness.”
~ Robert Frost
It was raining in the city. Raining and I couldn’t sleep, my head so full of thoughts and my body so tight with pain.
Now I’m home, home at my farm, it’s sometime before dawn even thinks of pushing her first rays over the horizon, and the dark bowl of sky above me is raining cold bright drops fresh as tears. I’m still not sleeping, but I’m peaceful. The pain hums in my belly and my veins but I can drift away on my thoughts to someplace else, and I’m such a seasoned traveller on this night-train now that it’s no imposition. In its own way it’s liberating. I choose to see it like that, anyway.
The beauty of this sacred morning space is achingly, breathtakingly silence-making. No words can capture the majesty, nor fill the space inside me.
Can a poem be composed entirely of stillness?
Inside our little farmhouse Ben and the dogs are sleeping. My mala beads are laced through my fingers still, prayers lingering upon them. The fire crackles and hisses in the quiet as the tiny twigs and branches I have placed on the ashy embers smoke and dance their way to life.
All night in my not-sleeping space I’ve been thinking about my memoir. I have carried it with me all of this year, and it’s been more an agony than a labour of love.
In the long quiet rain-filled hours that went before this one I finally understood where it has all gone wrong. There are too many words and not enough space. I made it all too busy so I could hide in the pages like some dark shadow-bird. So that you wouldn’t see me. So that you wouldn’t judge me.
It’s in the quiet moments and the emptiness that all the magic happened. In those places I am stripped bare but I was ashamed for you to see me naked. In these past few hours I came to understand it all differently. If you can truly see me, it’s only because you recognise that same place in you. Why was I so afraid to take you there with me?
I’m okay, and I’ll be okay.
And so, my friend, will you.
Sending all my love your way, bejewelled with tiny raindrops bright as tears and the scent of woodsmoke and damp good earth.
“Trees are poems the earth writes upon the sky, We fell them down and turn them into paper,
That we may record our emptiness.”
~ Kahlil Gibran