I walked a new-mown path the other morning, near the tangle of pines and grapevine at the edge of the hayfield. A few strides along, I startled-and was startled by-a quail rising up with an explosion of small wings. As my heart simmered down, I watched to make sure she didn’t go too near the road and felt grateful all over again for the return of the quail to our land after many years when they went missing. As I stood, I heard the loveliest, liquid murmuration nearby and thought of larks, flutes and rills tumbling over pebbles. I stepped closer to the music and spied a few, fluttering baby quail leaping away from me, then the mama quail came right at my head and I quickly backed away up the path.
As I put more and more distance between myself and the quail family, hoping I hadn’t disturbed them too deeply, still absorbing the astonishment of the tiny quail songs, I reflected upon how so often when I try to get closer to the earth, I can also feel like an intruder…the napping fawn I frightened in a walk through the overgrown pasture, the spider webs I damage as I walk at the wood’s edge. It’s a dilemma. Yet I know that one of many possible responses is simply to slow down…walk on the driveway when I want to be brisk, perhaps. And walk in a gentler rhythm elsewhere on the land.
Rhythms and patterns have been much on my mind of late, and this passage from Wise Child has struck me all over again…
“Maeve is wicked, isn’t she? I said at last. I was thinking not just of the wax doll but of the sad, ragged children I had seen stumbling under the weight of the tree trunk.
Juniper shrugged. “That’s not a word I like to use,” she replied. “She does not live in the rhythm, however-she uses her power for her own advantage, and that is always a pity because it does great harm.”
“Sorcerers, you mean?”
“That sort of person. It doesn’t matter what you call them. Once you start controlling other people, whatever your motive, you become a sort of sorcerer. Those people are not on the side of life, Wise Child, but they are powerful.”
“You mean–a witch?”
“That’s just a vulgar word for it that can mean all kinds of things.. The word we use is doran.” Juniper went on to explain that the word doran came from our Gaelic word dorus, an entrance or way in (the English have a word very like it). It was someone who had found a way in to seeing or perceiving.
“Seeing or perceiving what?”
Juniper hesitated. “The energy,” she said at last. “The pattern.”
Over the years, I have held the idea of living in or out of rhythm quite literally…with the routines of everyday life…and on a more symbolic scale, when trying to make sense of all that is wrong in the world. Just now, those are both significant to me, but an added thread of online life is weaving its way in. Tho’ it was an aim of mine in my recent at-home, upstairs biz retreat to get clarity on where and how I want to share online and to establish rhythms and patterns for that sharing…here I am, weeks on, still in a muddle about it all. My head helped me work out some of the answers during my retreat, but my heart has said otherwise in the trying to take action on those answers.
It is really this post all over again, with all that five years of living with social media adds to it. And gosh, what that has layered on! Goodness and connection, to be sure. But lately, more than the goodness, I am noticing the difficulties…how the simple stream of photos and words has become encrusted with stories and tv and emoji bars and suggestions and ads every 3 or 4 posts…and that I have to exert myself, energetically and emotionally not to notice or care too much about the numbers and likes…and mostly, that I am just sickened by all of the manipulations and machinations and trying to slog my way through the mire of them.
Have I been writing a meta post, as I believe Sarah and Lissa have described in the past? One that only speaks to those trying to nurture businesses online, in addition to all of the other reasons for being here? I wonder…please let me know. Perhaps I am just trying to work out a way of walking more gently in this webby world, too? And trying to see and perceive what ways of being online are in the rhythm, and which aren’t? Perhaps you are doing the same?
P.S. Part of the gentling is rearranging my website in the old blog-style. I’ll be adding more to the sidebar as ideas come. And I think I’ve fixed the comment bug that was sending everything to moderation and not letting me know.