The impossible possible

31 01 2012

Graffiti behind the bank - Beaufort St, Mt Lawley.

I started the River of Stones as a way of slowing down, capturing a moment, noticing and being thankful. In fact, I started this blog to capture my Small Stones each day. It has taken me to places I didn’t expect and has enabled me to move into experiencing life in a way I didn’t think possible. To those of you who’ve followed the journey, thank you for your encouragement and comments. Although the monthly ‘challenge’ is over, I intend to continue to write about random thoughts, emotions and observations.  Thanks for your company along the way.  : )


The Precious Pearl

30 01 2012

Pearl Lugger – Broome, North West Australia.

Pearls are precious to us my love,
they remind us that our love is strong and unique,
growing slowly and quietly,
year by year, layer by layer,
shining with a soft and pearly lustre.

Our pearls grew inside the tough shell
of an oyster that had its insides punctured.
In response to the painful wound
it grew a pearl to heal the scar.
Year by year, layer by layer,
such a beautiful and precious response.

May the pain and sorrow we all feel
in our punctured hearts
heal as a pearl,
with grace and beauty;
slowly and quietly
year by year, layer by layer.
So we will treasure, remember and speak of Mum
with a beautiful pearly lustre.

027 A new angle

29 01 2012

A completely different side of things

Another set of goodbyes today. Grief still sits silently as a thick fog, slowing the mind, slowing the body, scrambling my radar and thought process. My vision and clarity are limited. Occasionally, pockets of clear fresh air waft through the fog bringing a lucid moment. I expect to see my world again, back to normal. Instead, the great revealer shows me a new life, unlocks a ripened part of me and gifts me with a different view. I look out and catch a glimpse of my world, full of familiar things that look different now. A new angle, a new perspective, a new clarity, a new heart. I can’t un-know this now and although I’m glad to see things afresh, in some ways I mourn the loss of my former paradigm too.

Life in the in-between

27 01 2012

Swanbourne Beach at dawn, West Australia

I love to walk along the very edge of our country, developing a rhythm along the hard, wet sand. It takes me to the ‘in-between’, where I’m not fully on land, but not fully in water. The ‘in-between’ is a place to wrestle with my thoughts. It’s where the forces of nature fight each day. The current meets the shore and picks up tonnes of sand, transporting it easily to another bay where it reshapes the landscape. It gives and takes. Gives and takes. Gives and takes.

As I stop and face the ocean from the safety of land, the wave pulls back and makes me dig my toes into the sand. It erodes my foothold easily, forcing me to decide whether to join it or step back. The ‘in-between’ calls me to action.

I’m reminded that my walk today is just that. I lay footprints on the sand, little indentations that leave a print of me, but only for a day. There is no road, no track, no path mapped out. I’m here for today. The ‘in-between’ is always shifting, changing. It will last until the moon beckons the sea and it brings with it new sands, new shapes and a new bay for another day.

I come away much clearer, knowing that I can surrender to something or just step back, knowing my landscape will constantly change with give and take. And I can make a new path again tomorrow.

025 Scorched

26 01 2012

heatwave across the city


Relentless, brutal, baking heat. 42 degrees (108F). Office workers emerge from chilled cubicles at midday, holding newspapers to their faces to avoid the sun’s harsh slap. Towers and pavements collude by storing and bouncing heat, providing no escape. While friends from afar shovel snow with numbed fingers.

024 Facade

24 01 2012

Behind the facade

The inner room was built in haste from small and off cut clay.
Thrown together with mortar caked, it took not quite a day.
No time to roll or rake the joints, the outside’s sure to please
I’ll be there to clad it with fine stone from overseas.

Run your hand along the smooth and shiny outer stone.
You’d think the total structure might be made from that alone
if you couldn’t see the contrast, but only the outside
you wouldn’t know the truth about what it really hides.

The inner room contains me in a room I built by hand
at a time when I was hurting and no one could understand
the difficulty I have in revealing who I am
but now the outside crumbles and helps reveals the sham

I can’t keep up the falsehood of a shiny neat veneer
it dulls my intuition which I often fail to hear
I might not appear to be so neat or polished any more
with cracks and gaps and leaking taps and dust around my door

but my soul is freer than it’s been in more than thirty years
maybe that’s the blessing of a month of many tears
I wonder if my messy walls can deal with mice and men
or whether I’ll just wait a while and clad it up again.


The steep path of grief

23 01 2012

Bluff Knoll - Stirling Range National Park, Albany. WAustralia.

I wish you were here.  I wish you were here to help me walk this way, I’d be telling you all about this journey.  You’d be leading, making us rest, cheering us on, keeping us going.  I can’t see very far ahead today, the path is steep and uneven, just as I thought it was levelling out.  How did I get here?  I keep stopping, looking back over land that spans a lifetime, the pauses make the climb seem easier for a moment.  I can catch my breath, see where I’ve been and trace my footsteps with certainty.  I look backwards towards the horizon and see some things with a clarity never realised.  Some familiar landmarks look totally insignificant from this viewpoint – funny, I thought they were monumental.  Each step forward is uncertain and tiring but it’s physically impossible to rush.  The ground is unfamiliar and I have no idea how far I have to go until I’m ‘there’.  I have no idea where ‘there‘ is.  I wonder if I’ll recognise it.  I wonder how long it will take.  I wonder where the others are.  I wonder why I bother planning when the only certainty I have in life is this moment – this breath, this minute.  I wonder what I’m doing.  I pause to breathe deeply, sucking in the silence before turning back to the path before going on.  I try not to look to far ahead, just take one step at a time – “When walking, just walk” I hear my Zen-voice say.  I still wish you were here.

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