Quietly, In the New Life

“Oceans” by Juan Ramon Jimenez

I have a feeling that my boat
has struck, down there in the depths,
against a great thing.
And nothing
happens! Nothing . . . Silence . . . Waves . . .

—- Nothing happens? Or has everything happened,
and are we standing now, quietly, in the new life?

Winter is approaching–cold, dark, silent.  I’ve always thought of the snowy season as a time of hibernation–quiet and solitude–even though I always have a million things to do.

As much as my life demands doing, I find myself waiting.

It’s because I’m not sure of many things.  And yet I wouldn’t call my unknowing ignorance; I would call it a blank slate, a clean sheet of paper–on which I re-draw my life each day, discovering anew what it’s like to breathe, to love, to laugh.  It’s erasing what came before, creating something new in this very moment.

It’s akin to sitting by a muddy pool, waiting, waiting, for the mud to settle and the water to clear.  Then and only then I might be able to see.  Maybe not.  Perhaps I will have learned something else in the meantime.  The discovery or aha is never really in my primary task; it’s always in the peripheral goings-on.  I suppose this is called serendipity.

So, winter, with your quilts of snow and winds of chill, surround me.  Drown me in your quiet.  I shall sit very still and listen.  I shall pay attention.

[Post image: Snow in the stream below the house, January 2007]

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The quote I live by

Have patience with everything that remains unsolved in your heart. Try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books written in a foreign language. Do not now look for the answers. They cannot now be given to you because you could not live them. It is a question of experiencing everything. At present you need to live the question. Perhaps you will gradually, without even noticing it, find yourself experiencing the answer, some distant day.
--Rainer Maria Rilke in Letters to a Young Poet

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