I've scribbled the alphabet for meaning since I can remember.
Today I’m flying low and I’m
not saying a word.
I’m letting all the voodoos of ambition sleep.
The world goes on as it must,
the bees in the garden rumbling a little,
the fish leaping, the gnats getting eaten.
And so forth.
But I’m taking the day off.
Quiet as a feather.
I hardly move though really I’m traveling
a terrific distance.
Stillness. One of the doors
into the temple.
I wanted a quote on quiet and I googled: poof the perfect poem, above, appeared. I love that about our world of internet-edness.
But what of what is not to be easily found - or shared? Where are those spaces and how are we to maintain them?
I am a bit biased I suppose: A good deal of my “feed” (consumption) is peppered with spiritual spaces, intimate moments, fresh little lives, we get to peek into, yet my hermit self will not open that same door. I can remember being in spaces and times where capturing the moment was not only frowned upon, but forbidden. Times have changed and there is so much support in the connectivity. There are also practices we indulge in that feel good in the moment, thank you oxytocin, but are false flags of emotion and actually create a monkey of a burden.
For instance, I recently heard a story of a woman who changed her hiking plans because she wanted to post pictures “where all the good hikers went.” I asked my friend, the story-teller, again and again: “So she changed her plans for her social media posts?”
“Yes,” he answered every time I asked.
I was shocked. I never would even consider that.
It reminded me of a research paper that I wrote in graduate school that sought to understand the largest influencers on children — and, well no, I am not going to go find the paper, but as I recall, I had discovered what we already know: Children that have a guardian and a solid support structure, in general are not deeply effected by what they see on television, but children that do not have an adult figure to intervene and help them understand the difference between real behavior and imagined, children that do not have solid adult figures to emulate, they are deeply disturbed and influenced by media and entertainment. This paper was written in 2003 before social media.
But my post is not a discourse on children per-say, it is on the inner child or the inner temple that needs the stillness and the quiet.
As the New Yearʻs fireworks started, and out dog cowered in the corner, my partner said: “We live in a neighborhood of 2 year olds.” I took that to mean that the draw of loud and audacious with no concern for others, as two year olds are still learning definition of self and boundaries, blithely naive to the interconnectedness of it all — leaving havoc wherever they tumble.
Inter in Latin is the combo of “in” (into) and “terra” (Earth).
And interestingly this is what I found for the etymology of “net”: Old English net "netting, network, spider web, mesh used for capturing," also figuratively, "moral or mental snare or trap," from Proto-Germanic *natjan (source also of Old Saxon net, Old Norse, Dutch net, Swedish nät, Old High German nezzi, German Netz, Gothic nati "net"), originally "something knotted."
So this net, that we are now living for and through - how does it invite us into that Inner Temple? And if it does or does not, where do we draw the curtain, the line, the “not for public consumption” demarcation on our private lives? Do we have private lives? Or do we need to be seen to prove it so? Do we have a need - or even a relationship with silence? With stillness? What then happens to the magical moments of the unseen that can only be lived or felt, yet barely known?
The Tao says: Stillness is the ruler of haste. (chapter 26)
Perhaps today we take the day off, as Oliver suggests and drop into Us.
Happy New Year - may it be kind, may it be healthy and may it be miraculous.
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