In a break with our usual traditions, I’m going to start by sharing my own
followed by an essay, before offering Brain Dump et al. So read on.
Today, Friday 29 May 2020, I am grateful for:
~ The Way of the Buzzard, and the easeful, spacious teaching and companionship that Nicola and Jason have offered me;
~ the wide, loose, tangled and complex net of friendships, from which I do not want to extricate myself, for the rest of my life;
~ these affirming phrases:
“I am enough”;
“I have just enough”;
“enough for now”
Essay: Running with hare and hounds
My mother had a phrase, which she put out there as a contrary-wise-dom to my tendencies (as she perceived them) to “scatter my fire” or to “spread myself too thinly” or to split my loyalties.
You can’t run with the hare and the hounds.
I have had that echoed by some – not all – of my spiritual teachers, who have warned me against “sitting on the fence” in respect of my commitment and engagement.
Perhaps recognising the divisive nature of self-doubt, skepticism…
and yet, and yet.
In my continuing journey into the wisdom of the unconscious, I have encountered my own companions,
especially Brown Hare: defensive, timid, fierce, and with a fine pair of legs:
and the youngest of Wolf Cubs: gentle, voracious for love and play, and vulnerable.
And I have started running again – across the bouncy turf of the links at Brora Golf Club, down the step of the dunes, onto the soft sand, then the firm and springy moist sand, and sometimes into the ocean itself, my feet leading me into the salt water that heals my tender skin.
The running exhilarates me, opens my racing heart to a spaciousness that I have yearned for since I last ran…
… and it strengthens me, stretches my joints, my articulations, my articulacy.
For when I move, my mind relaxes and I meet my Muse again, as well as (at a distance) humans, walking their wolfy dogs.
Some of which (collies) gathered around me as I rested on a sandy rock on Wednesday, and panted with me.
Reminding how much I am missing touch, and physical connection with other beating hearts.
Today, I am grateful for:
running with the Hare and the Hounds.
Essay: Running with hare and hounds © Kathy McVittie 29 May 2020
For today’s Brain Dump in your ThoughtBook, I invite you to flow with any or all of the following prompts – as literally or as figuratively as you wish.
Today I feel as if I am running into …
Today I know that I won’t/will run out of …
Today I can sense that I run …
Yesterday I ran …
Tomorrow I may run …
Or feel free to run with your own Brain Dump Prompts today.
I wrote the essay above as a sort of Golden Thread exercise, starting with the prompt of the nine words in bold:
“you can’t run with the hare and the hounds”
which came to me while I was running northwards towards the Arctic Tern nestery, three days ago – just before the Arctic Terns themselves turned me round southwards by their vehement curiosity and defensiveness.
While I was writing it, and while I have been running in the past week (lifting my mood during a strange hiatus between birthdays) I’ve been aware of the energy of affirmation.
These are similar to our friends the Appreciations, insomuch as an Affirmation is an Appreciation of one’s self – one’s “Higher Self” in some people’s parlance.
Energy of affirmation
We might now like to re-read my essay and spot where I have made some self-compassionate affirmations during it. There are a few.
I encourage you now, or whenever you re-read any of your own work – following prompts from these or other writing sessions – to look out for the energy of affirmation, and harvest it. Use flags or *marginal asterisks or [square brackets] or what you will.
You can also note your responses – internal and external – to energies from others, whether in poems, prose, in works of art…
And maybe start an Inspiration Book, a journal of affirmation, an ArtWork of Energy, or a ‘Take a HigherSelfie’. Or write a love-letter to yourself that you can read when you are down.
As in Derek Walcott’s poem ‘Love after Love’ featured at the end, in Further Resources.
So, our homework this week is to start reviewing the resource material that we have around at home: your own writings or those of others, even on cereal boxes.
And to select affirmations of whatever sort, to gather into your personal resource kit.
If you can share just one or two affirmations with the rest of us, that would be wonderful.
Perhaps we may each lift up someone else’s spirits by sharing, in the Comments area.
Your chance to review the things you value:
Today I am grateful for:
To explore other expressions of appreciation practice, and an online resource including poetry and private safe-keeping for your own appreciations, you might visit https://gratefulness.org/.
Derek Walcott‘s poem was first published in his collection Sea Grapes (1976), and then was included in his Collected Poems, 1948–1984 (1986).
Love After Love
The time will come
when, with elation
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror
and each will smile at the other’s welcome,
and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you
all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,
the photographs, the desperate notes,Derek Alton Walcott (1930- 2017)
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.
This poem was