What does it take to get 'stuff' out of us and into the rest of the world?
For months now I have simply failed to write - at least, failed to put anything that I have thought or written privately out into the public domain. A peculiar place between unsettledness and stagnation.
But how can I start again if I don't just start again?
Let me do it like at the beginning of my 'apple a day' blog: hold my nose, close my eyes, and take a leap into the unknown!
This is 10 weeks into the Covid-19 lockdown. It's been a weird few months.
One response I have made to this new life setting is to create a zoom meeting for shared silent meditation, inviting village neighbours, friends and colleagues from anywhere and everywhere to join me for 20 minutes of stillness, twice a week. That's it. Simple, true.
Facebook has done its thing, in getting the word out.
From the day I started this, Sunday April 19th, I have meditated every day; mostly I am alone, but on Mondays and Thursdays - the official group days - there is a good little group of stillness-seekers and that is - really - always wonderful. Friends from as far as Basel and Lake Como included! For me, the anchoring of a daily meditation practice has been really important to keep me steady.
In meditation, I almost always find creative ideas of some sort popping up, or often strong emotions; and like a 'good meditator' I practice releasing them, along with any other sort of thought or sensation that wants to take my attention. That often means I forget the ideas, of course; but today, an hour after the session, I remembered what I had seen, and so I started to write.
Two images came to mind, both about the sea, one about high tide and one about low tide. Both feel 'true' to my inner world at present, and I can’t say which I prefer.
Does one or other resonate with you?
Imagine you are driftwood, lying face down at the top of the beach. You are stranded, entangled in a pile of detritus, unable to move. Life has been taken from you; you have landed where hope ends.
But the tide is returning. You sense its nearing, hear the crackle-crash of wave on sand, feel the judder beneath, smell its salt-light flavour. And at last the one large wave throws itself at you, above and round about and over you, and you are reached, swirled, churned back into the ocean, the pull of the ocean, the rough and tumble of the ocean, the deep and cold of the ocean; into the peace and belonging.
Imagine you are the beach, the long bare stretch of empty beach, emptying beach, emptier by the moment as the tide drops, withdraws, retreats into the depths of the sea. Exposed, you are, vulnerable. Defenceless. Life has been taken from you; you are laid bare where hope ends.
But the tide turns, and you feel the lap lap lapping of the smallest waves that begin to water your edges once again, begin to drench your sandy fringes, quench your thirst. To reconsume you. The waves' urgency grows, and their energy, and their depth. And at last you can release your breath again, release your fears, sink under the ocean’s covers, back and into and down into yourself; into the peace and belonging.