practising for a whole life

Welcome to writing presence, which is…

shyly spreading pollen

…  an occasional sharing of what I smile at, what I cry with, what touches me, and some of the rest.

And more recently a resource for writing our way whole: at home (WoWWaH), my shared practice since long before 2020, when it started here online.

It’s a journey towards wholeness, pencil in hand like a torch in the shadows.

It’s a place of thresholds, doorways, portals, gaps in the hedge, gateways, and paragate (which means “gone beyond” in Sanskrit).

I am a biologist, poet, gardener, lover, mother, friend, life-writing companion, and soul-witness.

Journalling, poems, letters, essays, and songs have sheltered me from exposure to the too-bright sun, and now employ me (though not yet gainfully unless you like to donate here to support my ongoing training and therapy).

For up to ten years I moved north to Sutherland (58°N) in summer, like the swallows and the Arctic terns. With my then-partner Jim, in the Campervan. As one neighbour said fondly:  “You return like the cuckoo”.

Now my home is Dhruvaloka, ‘Place of the North Star’. in a part of Brora known (again fondly) as ‘The Bronx).

I belong to The Way of the Buzzard tribe, with friends on the Earth Path. I’m an appreciative learner in the foothills of Buddhist tradition, contemplative Celtic Christianity, and Sufism, among others. In 1984 I was accused by a psychiatrist of being “too inclusive”. True, I can be over-eager, and my gates are often wide open.

That’s why the pandemic has been a time for me to better define and advertise my personal boundaries, with family, friends, clients, and the wider world. And to keep them flexible and resilient, fluid and porous.

For the rest of my life, I’m dropping down more deeply into easeful relationship (including with myself), play, song, poetry, dance, intuitive touch, and soul-witness. Sometimes elegaically, occasionally with skepticism, and often comically irreverent, as Wholly Fool.

Mostly in the land of Thule, less often now in the groves of academe. Always invited onward to look towards The Bright Field. (A big thank you to Emily Ardagh for the article on R.S. Thomas’ glorious poem).

Oftimes beside my compost heap, appreciating the remaking of Good Brown Earth by the annelid earthworm recyclers. (We all have a relationship with dung, after all. To reframe a brass penny: ‘where there’s muck, there’s grass.’)

This body loves to dance (conscious movement practice), in a community space surrounded by wild and caring friends. Or, more recently in lockdown, solitary in the kitchen or sitting room, sending and receiving appreciation in a wireless network of kindfulness. And whether it’s warm or chilly, I love to move upon the young bright turf, and to meld into the misty subtleties of rag-rug landscapes, up here at 58 degrees north, where some of the rocks are young and some are very, very old.

And this Pencil loves to move upon the Page. As we writing companions say: ‘Let’s go, write!’

© Dr Kathy Labrum McVittie, 2015-2022 All rights reserved

Biologist, life-writing companion & poet,

sharing ©writing our way whole at home

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