Monday, August 19, 2013

A Month Alone

           I am going into sequestration to learn              
how to create words 
both gentle & coarse

where I will settle into the dark womb 
of night & the blazing 
sun of day, where there is

no idle chatter to diffuse energy, where
even grinding coffee beans 
is a "disturbance in the field" & yet

when a great thunderhead gathers over the mountains

I will leap to the window with
astonishing joy & when it quiets

you will come remembering again
the silent treatment, the cold shoulder
the kindness boldly claimed
in words, though not freely 
given, or forgiven

each day in sitting, walking, writing

only a visit now & then
on the back of an old friend, horse

to soothe, & walk with me over 
dry creek beds & red rocks, to
share the hum of insects & dust & secret calm

they say when you stay in silence for long periods of time, 
you become intimate with all things

speak nothing unless it is an improvement over the silence, they say in Zen

own your breath, and your peace cannot be stolen away, they say

but who is to say?

this is how I imagine it but
I don’t know how it,  
or how I, will be

no voices, no cars
nothing to do but sweep the steps &  fill the water pitcher

peel an orange &
take a walk at dawn

butter toast &
wash my hair
breathe in & out &
smell the air

light a candle
pat the pillows & 

close the noisy & broken

screen door behind me


  1. Lovely thoughts, lovely words, and lovely photos. Your images of the screen door, washing your hair, peeling an orange, all the others quited me for a moment and made me sit back and reflect. Thank you. I wish you wonderful writing time, time to spend with your breath, your thoughts, your words.

  2. From soggy, rainy days to warm, crisp and sunny ones; I'm looking forward to it; I appreciate the connection to your work as well. Thank you, Linda.

  3. I love sharing your silence. Thank you. I can hear the door and my hands are sticky from peeling an orange. :)

  4. Oh, how the image shines through, Elisabeth! Thank you.

  5. I am there with you! Serene and beautiful. Thank you for sharing.
    Phillis (I hope I figured out how to respond to this.

    1. Thanks for taking a look, Phillis. Appreciate your kindness.

  6. Ah, the joys of solitude... Images and words to soothe a restless soul...

  7. Oh I crave this. Blessings on your journey. I look forward to your emergence. With love, S

  8. emergence...ha, I like that image; like a birthing of sorts! Thank you, Suzi

  9. Oh, I am hungry for the quiet, to be still and to own my breath. I do love the sound of that screen door. I can smell the scent of the horse and embrace his spirit.
    Beautiful words Monica.

  10. Thank you, D. I am so glad it has touched your heart.

  11. The context is so different, but the spirit is the same. You've reminded me of Anne Morrow Lindbergh's marvelous "Gift From the Sea".

    I just pulled down my copy and looked at the last small paragraph: "The waves echo behind me. Patience, faith, openness - is what the sea has to teach. Simplicity, solitude, intermittency. But there are other beaches to explore. There are more shells to find. This is only a beginning."

    Only a beginning, indeed.

  12. I keep thinking about going on a silent meditation retreat for a week -- or even a weekend. At Kripalu, breakfast is a silent affair. And I love it when I'm there. I can only imagine your experience being even more profound than your anticipation and what you picture your days will be like.