Thursday, May 08, 2014

Thursday-Gift from the Sea, The Channelled Whelk

Chapter Two in Gift From the Sea, Channelled Whelk

One single shell empty is turned, observed and small.
Have I ever picked up an object and observed it so closely before? Have I taken the time even? Something I might need to a while. 

Comparing nature to her real life Anne shares with us. Questions what is the shape of her own life?  What is the shape of my life I ask?  I think it’s good to pause and reflect where I’m standing right now with a family life and creative life there a is point where things can get a bit blurred.

Anne shares, she wants to be at peace with herself. The need for singleness of eye, a purity of intention, a central core to her life that will enable her to carry out all these obligations and activities as well as she can. (if anyone can explain this to me, the singles of eye, please jump in on it) 

I personal don’t think it’s about being the perfect woman, that she’s describing as it’s about the personal calm, the state of grace an inner harmony, essentially spiritual which can be translated into outward harmony as she describes. I’m not sure if it’s just me but I’m in my mid-fifties and the need to come to this state of “Grace” is really strong. I seem to want it more then ever but I keep complication things...I know that. 

As I read further Anne shares about tending to our daily task and all that comes around and realizes that other from the past have also been seeking a life of grace.  And it’s not given to you but it's about a process or rules one can follow. Simplification of life is one of them and maybe the first steps to take.  To choose simple is not easy when one’s life doesn't foster it. Reading this and typing this out I hear my husband’s words, “Keeping it simple is not an easy job, but one to strive for,”
Demands upon ourselves and our life's, be it a man or a woman…there are countless demands…."take warning!”

A sense of unity and connections is something I personally long for and this life style… still to this day some years now since she wrote this book it all still rings true, (timeless are her words and thoughts)….The life we lead is fragmented.  Anne share’s it does not bring grace; it destroys the soul. And what is a wonderful reminder for me is I can choose simplification or chaos most of the time. That is if I stop and take moment then act, I'm much better off choosing then. 

To be a woman is to have interests and duties, raying out in all directions from the central mother-core, like spokes from the hub of a wheel.   Anne shares the connection women have and it feels so right to me when I read this. Being open to all points of the compass, husband, children, friends, house and community. Circular, like a spider web….she adds and how difficult for us, then, to achieve a balance in the midst of these contradictory tensions, and yet how necessary for the proper functioning of our lives. 

How to remain whole in the midst of the distractions of life; how to remain strong, not matter what shocks come in as the periphery and tend to crack the hub of the wheel. Anne asks, What is the answer?
No easy answer…no complete answer…but the first step might be to simplify, cut out some distractions. Finding balance, a rhythm between two extremes; a swinging of the pendulum between solitude and community, between retreat and return.

The Art of Shedding along with simplification, less is more concept, the shedding of society’s picture upon us to be and do. The shedding of pride and shed the mask.  

Simplification can lead to spiritual freedom and peace. So why do I seem to choose complication? I for myself get caught up on all the frenzy of what you should be doing and having to do more…when is it enough?  and when do you  allow it to come to be instead of forcing. As Anne shared in the first chapter, it’s not about digging up as it is about our own personal faith in what is right now present in our lives without the entire extra…strip down in thought, clothes and need. See what happens.
If you have experience this state of grace in your life what and where was it….and do you have something of simple substance to remind you of it?   I do have a few objects resting peacefully on my window ledge. 

I know for myself as I read this chapter this morning it is just what I needed to swing the pendulum back to a nice balance.  Though my spokes reach out as Anne shares in many directions that do distract I find when I do my husbandry of my homestead I am able to find that peace and the state of grace. The mundane tasks bring balance for me. (not always do I want or like to do them) So on busy days of having to prepare for a workshop, class or an art fair etc. I find that the need to switch gears to folding a load of laundry helps me easy into the state of grace/balance. Then to continue on to the next thing…and how necessary and how it properly function our lives.   Reading her words this morning was a wonderful mediation for me, a reconnection like spiritual vitamins.

                                                                            From the site Edible Vineyard 


  1. Like spiritual vitamins, yes indeed, Laura! Simplicity is that thing that often escapes me. I do often prefer a simpler life, which is why I love our little cottage so much. It's so small, it's easy to keep clean and care for. Just sitting and watching the river flow and the birds fly, I feel so at peace there. No phone ringing with robot calls, no stores beckoning me to go spend money, no yard maintenance, no laundry. Just my husband, the dog, and me, being one with the world.

    And yet those distractions do inevitably return. I think we have to strengthen our souls (reading this book and sharing is one way to strengthen my spirit), in order to withstand the distractions of everyday life. I, too, have been called to do that since my 50's, and it's been an ongoing process. I feel that I am calmer now, in the face of a crisis. It may be faith, it may be an inner strength, it may be both. But I used to obsess about things (especially problems my kids were having), and now I find I can listen, be present, and then let it go. Where did that change come from?

    Something else she mentions is how much energy it takes to be in an insincere relationship, and how it's a major distraction. I think this concept goes along with learning to be authentic. It's all a process, just like our art, and it's a wonderful ride all along the way!

    1. Wonderful comment Marge...I like your question about where did that change come from? and I would like to add how did it happen? all this reminds me of what of wiser thought process I'm experience lately is working smarter not the energy thinking about where it would be much better used instead of being wasted. Your little cottage sounds like a dream come true.

  2. Catching up, as usual (is somebody trying to tell me something?) Had read the previous chapter on "the beach' before it was time to comment and then have been hunting for the notes I wrote all week...will do that now and on to this chapter; a quiet afternoon, a good time for that.

    1. You lead a very creative life April and it's a blessing.


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