On Quiet Transformation

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Linda’s blog challenge this year is about transformation—inner transformation particularly. It’s an interesting subject, as it can be hard to assess oneself, but clearly I’ve become quieter the past year or so. More inward-facing. Times of true connection with others have been precious and have served as markers upon this sea I’ve been traversing. I imagine when one is at sea for a while, for what seems a very long time, things start to really change. The edges blur. Perspectives expand and dissolve. The sky slips into the eyes. One loses what was once an obvious orientation.

The real these days is like quicksilver. It flashes at the edge of vision. A month passes and then it strikes—hissing through the grass, filling the space between trees. Melting ice taps against stone. How did I not hear this before? As quickly as it’s there, it’s gone, but it’s enough to remind that so much of what seems to be, is not. That so much of what is, is still on the way.

There are spaces that need not, and cannot, be justified. There is realness at the heart of the world no edifice of reason or logic can quite encapsulate. It’s the place were being right is meaningless, because what is there to be right about? When we’ve accepted this resiliency at the root of our knowing, then ambition softens. It’s replaced by the sense of what can only be given and received, not made, and maybe this season of quiet precedes this new life that nudges forth.

The day-to-day this year has been like galloping towards a diminishing horizon. Being swallowed as I go and no way back and this endless rhythm that lulls the contours into fluid hiding. Until it seems that nothing is happening at all. But could this be the most creative place yet? This empty quiet? This waiting in the shadow of what must come?

The bluebirds entertain me daily: early afternoon, just outside the window where I’m working, they appear. One inspects the roof of the birdhouse in which it was born, while the other peers inside. Then they trade places. What are they looking for? The quiet wonder from which they emerged, I think. There’s a magnetism and I can feel it, too, but is it for what has been, or what will be? What is it that we know innately but cannot name?

To hold a thing, and carry a thing inside, and to know this as yourself… what kind of “thing” would that be? It would be an ephemeral one, an enduring impermanence, the transcendent that can be revealed but never captured, for it never ceases. Does one “know” a new land even as one is drawn to discover its fruit trees, meadows, and streams? These are clues but not the whole. And yet the whole is imminent. It is there in every texture, hue of light, flutter of motion. Where would we find it but there?

I think this quiet—though days pass in a blur—is bringing something forth. It is like passing through the screen of some mirage. A plane of light saturates our view. There are times we navigate we don’t fully understand. We can only move in the direction of our trust. What are these times for? To herald the days ahead? To prepare for them? It seems I’ve been occupied with the mundane, but we’ve so many levels and the whole is still there, in the realness of everything that resolves into view, unexpectedly, and transforms me completely. It’s hard to say what each of us carries in the depths of our heart. What spaces we hold for the whole. What shifting and healing is happening deep within while the news washes past overhead, and the days grow short, and the bindings between us fray.

I don’t know quite what this is, only that it is different than before. What is coming now is quiet and gentle. Where it pokes through the soil no one notices. We walk across the top of it, chattering away. It seems like it was always there, but the wind has shifted and the light with it. And what I know is that I have hope. I know there is a storm, but I also know it’s not without purpose. Everything is held somehow and it is this I would remember as the day fades… we are held, even now, by what is coming.

28 Comments

    • Thank you, Hedy! I really appreciate how people “showed up” after I’ve been away for so long. It’s very humbling and so greatly appreciated!

      And yes, gentleness, caring, compassion… we need these now…

      Peace
      Michael

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  1. This is so powerful, Michael. It speaks to me in the same way I feel about this passage:
    “There’s a magnetism and I can feel it, too, but is it for what has been, or what will be? What is it that we know innately but cannot name?”
    It is a knowing that softly drifts away until it is just out of reach. It is that feeling that we somehow know better and yet we can’t quite reach the summit of what is true inside us.
    I am so happy to connect with you today…and I wish all good things for you and your family. Stay safe…be well…always believe! 🧡

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, Lorrie. Nice to connect with you again, too! Hope you are happy and whole and safe these days. Thank you for the reply and I sense you know the place that was passing through me–through us. This inkling of something that haunts the edges and if we look to closely at it, is gone… But it is there for us, and I believe… 🙂

      Blessings, my friend!
      Michael

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Michael, your ability to tap into spaces seen and unseen, moment to moment, is such a gift. This year’s blog challenge is one that asks so much of its participants and your voice helps warm up the cold and way too weary among us. Your inner poet thrives here. What a treat to share on this sunny wintery Sunday.

    I am so excited for others to read these words and carry them forward when the darkness beckons. Thank you for joining us in this pursuit to express the often inexpressible nuggets of insight while we all await the path towards illumination.

    blessings, Linda

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you for doing this, Linda. It hasn’t been a time of profound inspiration for me of late, on the writing front. I suppose there are seasons for everything, right? But I knew I wanted to accept your challenge because your intentions are always meaningful and lead to interesting places, and I knew it would be a good prompt. I’m really grateful to have participated and am glad you enjoyed it! Thank you for the kind words as always…

      Peace
      Michael

      Liked by 1 person

      • My words are sincere. I am a fan of your writing 🙂 I have organized challenges each year since 2013with the exception of last year. It was not easy this time to get people to participate like in the past, perhaps many are not inspired or are not up for this particular topic. In any case, I read the comments for your post and it was quite well received ( not a surprise at all.) My point being is that your quiet transformation resonates.

        Thanks again! LInda

        Liked by 1 person

  3. These are beautiful musings and expressions Michael. You’ve summed up so much of what I’ve been feeling; the storms, the quiet, the mystery, and the hope peeking through. And I love your wordplay; time flashing and hissing through grass, and ice tapping on stone. To quiet transformation.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, Brad! I think there’s a lot of this feeling going around… 🙂 The movement beneath the page and behind the scenes has seemed intense this year and I imagine our hearts are all lending strength to these movements, and we feel just a little smidge of it. So much seems normal. But we are connected to worlds and worlds!

      Blessings, my friend–
      Michael

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Litebeing’s Change Challenge – litebeing chronicles

  5. Reblogged this on litebeing chronicles and commented:
    Here is the latest challenge post from Michael. His words provide such tenderness and care.
    “To hold a thing, and carry a thing inside, and to know this as yourself… what kind of “thing” would that be? It would be an ephemeral one, an enduring impermanence, the transcendent that can be revealed but never captured, for it never ceases. Does one “know” a new land even as one is drawn to discover its fruit trees, meadows, and streams? These are clues but not the whole. And yet the whole is imminent. It is there in every texture, hue of light, flutter of motion. Where would we find it but there?” This is an example of how poetry meets prose. Thank you Michael for adding your voice to the blogging chorus. Every sound in this chorus intermingles to birth a collective burst of meaning and truth. Alchemy at its finest.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. footloosedon says

    A beautiful piece Michael in which you evoke what is ineffable: “I don’t know quite what this is, only that it is different than before. What is coming now is quiet and gentle. Where it pokes through the soil no one notices. We walk across the top of it, chattering away. It seems like it was always there, but the wind has shifted and the light with it. And what I know is that I have hope. I know there is a storm, but I also know it’s not without purpose. Everything is held somehow and it is this I would remember as the day fades… we are held, even now, by what is coming.” Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Don. Oh, it’s good to hear from you… Hope you and Alison are both well. I am so glad to receive your heart ping back in reply!

      With Joy!
      Michael

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  7. Such a beautifully written post Michael. Thank you for these words and sharing from your deep heart and intuition. I have felt the quiet and gentle along with the beauty of the mundane. I sense something is imminent … beyond the darker days ahead. Peace to you 🙏

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’m with you, Val. Peace to all, I say. May we pierce this strange veil and discover that our hearts have already been soothed. Thank you for responding and sharing these reactions from your own place of wisdom and light.

      Peace
      Michael

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I’ve been saving this up for a quiet moment knowing it would require my full attention, and heart. Such a beautiful piece Michael, that brought me right back into the centre. These things I know though I don’t (yet) live day to day in the knowing – that there’s actually nothing happening so there is nothing to be right about, that all is well, that’s there’s nothing wrong. It’s hard to say what shifting and healing is happening in me, in you, in everyone, in the earth, and yet I don’t doubt it is happening. I still mostly walk chattering across the top of it, but like you I know that everything is held somehow, and that it’s all ok. I too have hope, an overflowing of hope, and trust, because whatever is coming is also held.
    Peace and love
    Alison

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Alison. This means a lot! I haven’t written in a while and coming back to the page was a reason to accept this challenge, and it’s a joy to know of these person-to-person resonances. It’s such a paradox how the the most profound can seem the most ephemeral. There’s all the hustle and bustle of nothing much at all, and then this profound majesty that appears when we’re attentive, but not fixedly so. When we’re just passing through I guess. Riding that majestic wave… Letting events pass through us. Such a joy to hear from you and Don both.

      Peace and love to you as well–
      Michael

      Liked by 1 person

  9. galenpearl says

    As Linda/litebeing said, poetry meets prose. I read it quickly, and then slowed down and savored it sentence by sentence, phrase by phrase. Your words resonate on all levels of being.

    Stillness. We have now entered the season of stillness (in the northern hemisphere). In the Chinese five element system, winter is associated with the kidneys, which hold polarity of fear and stillness. So when fear draws us upward to the chattering surface, stillness opens the space for us to sink into peace. Transformation is not achieved as much as it is allowed. Allowing is practiced, practiced in the stillness.

    Best wishes to you and much gratitude.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Galen!

      Stillness does seem the antidote to what ails us. And I resonate with transformation being allowed–it is something that moves through us I think, and we must allow that movement to occur. I’ve been enjoying some time away from the torrent of chatter that marks a busy day at work, and much enjoying the quiet. It’s amazing what you discover… some things require a certain spaciousness in which to open…

      Hope you’re having a lovely season of stillness, and I wish you a happy holiday season too!

      Peace
      Michael

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  10. I enjoyed reading this immensely ♥️
    It’s a calling to my own heart and what pokes through the soil that no one knows; we are connected, all of us, through these bluebirds that are curious, and expanse of the sky that we are all under, and each arrangement of season in your delicate prose.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Ka. It’s always a joy to connect with you. There’s a lovely kindredness there… I’m glad to know you found some spaces to explore between these words. As I just wrote to Galen, I’m really savoring the expanse of this quiet season right now. It’s like water seeping back into the reservoir after a busy growing season, and we are all indeed connected by these turning seasons and times and wonders…

      Blessings, my friend–
      Michael

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I read this is out loud in a soft, slow voice, while petting my cat who is with me on the couch. Now, I’m still breathing in the comfort of your words ringing gently true: “It is like passing through the screen of some mirage….(this feels exciting as well as comforting)..There are times we navigate we don’t fully understand. We can only move in the direction of our trust…..What shifting and healing is happening deep within while the news washes past overhead,….” I will stay grounded and cherish this quiet, profound awareness and, as always, keep plenty of space for hope.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, JoAnna. What a lovely reply! I’ll hold space for hope with you. Which, I think… is equivalent to saying we hold miracles as real… which I know you do! It’s something we can only carry in our hearts, this quiet feeling-knowing wholeness. We can only know it within, by knowing ourselves truly, and touching the place where we meet the Grand Inexplicability that holds us…

      Blessings
      Michael

      Liked by 1 person

    • I think life is always changing, and we’re changing with it, and at some level… we change life as well! I think it’s a relationship, and there’s an ebb and flow to it. We never know where the ride will take us, though. I agree…!

      Like

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