Fiona writes: Last week I was in a beautiful quiet place with thirteen other writers and two tutors. The tutors were wise, and the other students were helpful, but somehow I found myself getting frustrated in the group sessions. I felt choked with other people’s words.
On the Wednesday morning I skived the morning class. I walked out through the vegetable garden and lay on my stomach on a bench. I walked through the woods, noticing the scents of sage, honeysuckle and pine, hearing wood pigeons and the wind shuffling the leaves, finding a dalmation-mottled leaf, seeing a red admiral, the sun filtering through hazel leaves.
I sat under a tree and read this quote in my book, by Thoreau: ‘What is a course in history or philosophy or poetry, no matter how well selected, or the best society, or the most admirable routine of life, compared to the discipline of looking always at what is to be seen?’.
I made a cup of tea. I brought it to my mouth too suddenly, and the loose tea was a whirlwind. If I waited, the black bits settled and the golden liquid became clear.
I started to settle. Slowly. Quietly. Ideas bloomed. I started making notes for this post. I covered a page – the first words I’d written all week.
The title of this post is the last line of a poem I have up on my office wall – ‘After Reading Tu Fu, I Go Outside to the Dwarf Orchard’. When you are ready to hear something, everything speaks to you.
A post from the archive, as I need to remember this today.
Photo by nutmeg66 via Creative Commons with thanks.