not knowing

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These words by Anais Nin accompany my post this afternoon.

“The unknown was my compass. The unknown was my encyclopedia. The unnamed was my science and progress.”

Vulnerability and humility when creating in the field of the unknown are constantly at play.  To give way, entrance into this place of beginning is where most creative work is born…curiosity perhaps draws us in and the pull, tug of something beyond naming.  We follow because we must.  It is the other world within this one.

This morning venturing back from the river,  my walk became the field in which I create.  What called – the dense landscape of green twisted and twined with a rhythm I named confluence…not of two rivers but of walnut and chestnut trees which moved like water.  On the path the memory of those whose footfall has preceeded mine created movement and flow, the wind and birdsong carried on it.  A horse the color of chestnut, his tail whisking flies away.  He stood and did not answer my question.  Live them, moment by moment

Beginning this Fall I hope you will join me for a 6 week writing and making workshop on Practice, Not Knowing, Living Our Questions,  Boundaries and Holding Fast to What Inspires Life, Building Trust, Intention.

I look forward to creating and dreaming with you

Your feedback on dates and times will be helpful

Enjoy the remains of the summer

Christine

 

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Inside the Mountain

I remember Nan Shephard in her book, The Living Mountain, speaking about being inside the mountain.  I dont think this was simply a matter of choosing alternate prepositions ie.  in, on, of …it had to do with intimately knowing place and feeling a part of.  In the evenings as the sun slips behind the westernmost slope of the sierras which surround this valley Ive gotten into the habit of watching the swallows and martins gleefully fly above the fields below Lenador.  I sense they are out for a joy ride, the last flight of the day.  Looking out on Mt Lujar with a lemony haze of light still glowing above changing hue and tone with each passing thrum of birds wings.  The mountain appears to be exhaling, as if the entire body of rock, soil, gritty stones, roots, rises and falls the same way my chest does.  This too is being inside the mountain.  It is about relationship and seeing ourselves not as separate but as one integrated whole20031716_1107176599418609_9209145696467531526_n

Scottish hill walker, novelist and poet Nan Shepherd

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Scottish hill walker, novelist and poet Nan Shepherd (1893-1981) believed that we walk not ‘up’ mountains, but ‘into’ them.
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“On the mountain,” she wrote, “I am beyond desire. It is not ecstasy… I am not out of myself, but in myself. I am. That is the final grace accorded from the mountain.”
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She also believed that we’d be better to abandon the notion of the summit as the goal, and to instead focus on what she called the “total mountain” — the hope just to be in its company, to sleep high, wander, explore, pry into its hidden corners, to, as she put it, become “a peerer into nooks and crannies.”
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Nan taught English literature at Aberdeen College of Education and lived in the same house in Cults for 87 years. In the 1940s Nan wrote the nonfiction book “The Living Mountain” — an 80-page ode to Scotland’s Cairngorms — though it wasn’t published until 1977. It really is a beautiful book, with wonderful observations like, “Light in Scotland has a quality I have not met elsewhere. It is luminous without being fierce, penetrating to immense with an effortless intensity.”
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Nan is finally being recognized for her writing. Since 2016 she’s been the face of the Royal Bank of Scotland £5 note.

facing the unknown

Our lives depend upon our oceans, forests, the cycles and rhythms that have truly been governing us throughout the ages. Ecosystems are complex, they require precision and they are fragile. More than ever they rely on our cooperation and stewardship. We should all be outraged at the latest decision by the White House to drop out from the Paris Agreement. What can be said of the arrogance and selfishness – the choice to ignore signs and science.
The choice to wreck the planet is a failure of reverence for all lives this moment and for future generations. Ignoring climate change is a human rights violation. What can we do as individuals and communities. Im not going to ask earth to forgive us for disrupting its integrity, for the crisis which includes species extinction, melting ice caps and rising sea levels. Im going to ask that WE WAKE UP…to the magnificence that fastens us as a whole…to remember we are not separate

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“The insanity of human destructiveness may be matched by an older grace and intelligence that is fastening us together in ways we have never imagined”
Paul Hawken, Blessed Unrest

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