I travel to the Scottish isle of Iona to write and to walk. The landscape and the seascape mirror my interior weather. The wind carries a delicate mist that sings a sweet and lonely tune – an ancient cadence carried in rivulets through the heather and stone, in the expansive frame of sky, and in the reaching stretch of sea. When the cracked heart finds shelter, it opens, broadens, and resonates in every cell and becomes the pervasive sky. The cracks are pathways of slow motion. The heart reaches in recognition, without effort, across the smooth beach of stones.
My compact self is undone, comes apart, does not know and has no plan, just opens without a desire or intent or will; and the water blooms; the stones flow; and I am not separate, defined only by the pulse that knows its kin. This place is all that I ever wanted to become. This mist is a truth known only by the gracious ache that rises and spreads and fills and empties and lifts. This is possible: our longing is as simple as the space that is.
We can cherish our broken hearts. We can learn to feel our textures and patterns as in a beloved, with patience and a curiosity for detail. This is different from trying to fix our selves or to make our selves better. We can learn the contours of our own experience right now. We do not have to wait until some point in the future when we are better or when the list has been completed. We can become intimate with exactly where we are on this journey in time. We don’t have to be good enough. We can just be.
Excerpt From: Anne Markham Bailey. The Practice of Being: The Power of Creative Awareness. Present Tense Media. 2021
Purchase The Practice of Being or learn more about Anne’s writing and courses at www.annemarkhambailey.com